Fruits and vegetables can become contaminated with spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms at several points from the field through to the time they are consumed. Given sufficient time at an appropriate temperature, some pathogens can grow on produce to populations exceeding 107 CFU/g, resulting in increased risks of human infections. Outbreaks of human illnesses associated with the consumption of raw fruits and vegetables and unpasteurized fruit juices have been documented with increased frequency in recent years. [1-3]. Conditions affecting survival and growth of pathogens and spoilage microorganisms on raw produce have been studied extensively. A wide range of chemical and physical treatments have been evaluated for their effectiveness in killing microorganisms on raw fruits and vegetables . Substantial variations in conditions used to prepare inoculum, methods for inoculation, storage of samples after inoculation, and application of treatments have been used. Procedures used to sample, detect, and enumerate pathogens and spoilage in microorganisms on raw produce have also varied across laboratories, making it difficult to compare the results.
There is a need to develop and validate standard methods to determine accurately the presence and numbers of pathogenic and spoilage bacteria, yeasts, molds, parasites, and viruses on raw fruits and vegetables. These
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