• alfalfa sprouts;
  • food safety;
  • Salmonella typhi;
  • Vibrio cholerae;
  • E. coli O157:H7


The survival and growth of Vibrio cholerae O1, Salmonella typhi, and Escherichia coli O157:H7 during germination and sprouting of disinfected alfalfa seeds and alfalfa sprouts was determined. All pathogens showed ability to grow during germination and sprouting, reaching counts of approximately 6.0 log10 CFU/g after 24 h. No growth was observed for any pathogen when the sprouts were inoculated after 24 h of seed germination. At this time, the background microflora was abundant. Numbers of pathogens inoculated on alfalfa sprouts decreased less than 1 log10 CFU/g over 15 d of refrigeration. Alfalfa sprouts can be an important factor contributing to the endemicity for typhoid fever and cholera in México.