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Efficacy Of Chlorine Dioxide, Ozone, And Thyme Essential Oil Or A Sequential Washing In Killing Escherichia Coli O157:H7 On Lettuce And Baby Carrots

N. Singh, R. Singh, A. Bhunia, R. Stroshine
Published 2002 · Chemistry

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Chlorine dioxide (ClO2), ozone, and thyme essential oil has been found to be effective in reducing pathogens, including Escherichia coli O157:H7, on selected produce. The efficacy of these sanitizers was evaluated, alone or through their sequential washing to achieve a 3 or more log reduction of mixed strains of E. coli O157:H7 on shredded lettuce and baby carrots. Samples sprinkle inoculated with mixed strains of E. coli O157:H7 were air-dried for 1 h at 22±2°C in a biosafety cabinet, stored at 4°C for 24 h, and then treated with different concentrations of disinfectants and exposure time. Sterile deionized water washing resulted in approximately 1log reduction ofE. coli O157:H7 after 10 min washing of lettuce and baby carrots. Gaseous treatments resulted in higher log reductions in comparison to aqueous washing. However, decolorization of lettuce leaves was observed during long exposure time. A logarithmic reduction of 1.48–1.97log10 cfu/g was obtained using aqueous ClO2 (10.0 mg/L for 10 min) ozonated water (9.7 mg/L for 10 min) or thyme oil suspension (1.0 mL/L for 5 min) on lettuce and baby carrots. Of the three sequential washing treatments used in this study, thyme oil followed by aqueous ClO2/ozonated water, or ozonated water/aqueous ClO2 were significantly (P<0.05) more effective in reducing E. coli O157:H7 (3.75 and 3.99log, and 3.83 and 4.34 log reduction) on lettuce and baby carrots, respectively. The results obtained from this study indicate that sequential washing treatments could achieve 3–4log reduction of E. coli O157:H7 on shredded lettuce and baby carrots.
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