Laboratory Scale Washing Studies

Laboratory washing studies in which the melons are fully immersed in a sanitizing solution with scrubbing or agitation have demonstrated that significant reductions in microbial populations can be achieved. Ayhan et al. [35] reported reductions of 1 and 2 logs for the aerobic plate count on whole honeydew melons and cantaloupes, respectively, after dipping in 200 ppm chlorine (as sodium hypochlorite) solutions; reductions exceeding 3 logs were obtained on cantaloupes dipped in 1000 ppm chlorine. Park and Beuchat [34] compared 200 or 2000 ppm chlorine, 850 or 1200 ppm acidified sodium chlorite, 0.2 or 1.0% hydrogen peroxide, and 40 or 80 ppm peroxyacetic acid (TsunamiTM) as sanitizers for cantaloupes inoculated with human pathogens. Population reductions of E. coli O157:H7 and salmonella cocktails approached or exceeded 3 logs for all of these treatments except hydrogen peroxide, which was less effective. Population reductions of total aerobic microorganisms were substantially smaller than reductions of human pathogen populations. Similar results were reported for honeydew melons.

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