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Alternative methods of surface sanitizing cantaloupes were examined by Barak et al. [109]. They reported reductions in the bacterial load of 70, 80, and 90% by scrubbing the melons with a vegetable brush in tap water, washing with soap, and dipping in 150 ppm sodium hypochlorite, respectively. However, a three-compartment sanitation method comprising washing with an antimicrobial soap, scrubbing with a brush in tap water, and immersion in a hypochlorite solution resulted in a 99.8% reduction. Population reductions exceeding 5 logs were obtained on cut iceberg lettuce, inoculated with E. coli CDC1932, by washing with diluted vinegar (1.9% acetic acid); in contrast, washing with diluted bleach solution (180 ppm available chlorine) and lemon juice (0.6% citric acid) yielded 1.6 and 2.1 log reductions, respectively [110]. However, the vinegar treatment resulted in some product damage. Application of a solution containing 1.5% lactic acid and 1.5% hydrogen peroxide as a 15-minute soak at 40°C was reported to yield greater than 5 log reductions in the population of E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella enteritidis, and Listeria monocytogenes on spot-inoculated apples, oranges, and tomatoes [111]. However, in both studies, the surviving bacteria were recovered by a rinsing procedure such that only unattached, exposed cells were being recovered and not bacteria that were embedded in fruit tissues or biofilms or attached to fruit surfaces. This may have yielded unrealistically high population reductions. Smith et al. [112] evaluated a commercial peroxyacetic acid formulation intended for foodservice applications (Victory produce wash; Ecolab, St. Paul, MN; www.eco-lab.com) for reducing the bacterial load on lettuce; small reductions (~1 log) were obtained. Lukasik et al. [38] compared various washing treatments, including consumer-oriented products (detergents, Fit® and Healthy Harvest) on inoculated strawberries; population reductions for E. coli O157:H7, S. montevideo, and several viruses were between 1 and 2 logs. Parnell and Harris [113] compared water, sodium hypochlorite, and vinegar as consumer washes for reducing salmonella on spot-inoculated apples. Population reductions obtained with vinegar and chlorine washes were 2 to 3 logs greater than reductions obtained with water. Treatment with sodium hypochlorite and vinegar yielded comparable reductions in the population of natural microbiota of lettuce [114]. A study of consumer acceptance of a home use antibacterial solution for sanitizing apples indicated that consumers would be unwilling to use a procedure requiring the 15-minute heat and soak step [115]. Venkitanarayanan et al. [116] reported that an electrolyzed water treatment was effective in inactivating foodborne pathogens on smooth plastic kitchen cutting boards. They did not investigate scarred cutting boards which might be expected in a kitchen or foodservice situation.

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Organic Gardeners Composting

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