Conditions intrinsic to fruits and vegetables, as well as variation in types and numbers of microorganisms and amount of soil and organic matter present on produce surfaces, are variable, necessitating a standard procedure for selecting samples for sanitizer efficacy or challenge studies. A sufficient number of replicates with a sufficient number of whole fruits or vegetables, or cut produce samples will be necessary to enable appropriate types of statistical analysis to be applied to the data generated. The experimental design should enable statistical analysis to be done at a level rigorous enough to deal with the complexities associated with microbiological testing. Traditional methods of bacteriological or mycological analysis of foods and beverages report results on the basis of CFU/g, CFU/ml, or CFU/cm2. Treatment with sanitizers or application of processing technologies may be designed to achieve a certain log10 reduction in the number of a specific pathogen, several pathogens, or a spoilage microorganism, based on weight or volume of the product. Substantial variation in the weight-to-surface area ratio (g:cm2)
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