Efficacy of 1% Hydrogen Peroxide Wash in Decontaminating Apples and Cantaloupe Melons

Authors

  • G.M. Sapers,

    1. Authors Sapers and Sites are with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038. Direct inquiries to author Sapers (E-mail: gsapers@arserrc.gov).
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  • J.E. Sites

    1. Authors Sapers and Sites are with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038. Direct inquiries to author Sapers (E-mail: gsapers@arserrc.gov).
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  • Mention of brand or firm names does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture over others of a similar nature not mentioned. The authors thank Biological Laboratory Technician Donyel M. Jones for her skillful technical assistance in performing the experiments described herein. We also thank Dr. John G. Phillips, Consulting Statistician, North Atlantic Area, Agricultural Research Service, for analysis of the data.

ABSTRACT

Efficacy of 1% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in decontaminating apples and cantaloupes containing human pathogens was investigated. Apples inoculated with Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922) were washed with 1% H2O2 at 20 or 40 °C for 15 or 30 min. Population reductions approaching 3 logs were obtained with all treatments. Comparable reductions were obtained with apples inoculated with 3 strains of E. coli O157:H7, associated with cider outbreaks, and a 5-strain cocktail. The 1% H2O2 treatment was ineffective against E. coli 766 (ATCC 9637; similar to Salmonella Poona) on inoculated cantaloupes. Treatment of apples with 1% H2O2 was carried out successfully in a wet dump tank.

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