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ABSTRACT

In our attempt to standardize methods to eliminate Salmonella from cowpea bean sprouts, treatment of cowpea seeds either with 20,000 ppm active chlorine for 1 h or with vinegar (5% acetic acid) for 30 min failed to eliminate S. enterica subspecies enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. typhimurium). Although vinegar eliminated Salmonella in 45 min, it drastically deteriorated the sprouting rate of the treated seeds. The inoculation of seeds with Salmonella reduced germination if the soak water had7.2 × 108  cfu/mL of Salmonella. Salmonella typhimurium rapidly multiplied on germinating cowpea seeds. Nongerminated seeds exhibited a greater (P < 0.01) number of the pathogen than sprouted seeds. Chlorination and vinegar treatments (up to 3 h) of sprouts from contaminated seeds did not eliminate Salmonella but reduced its populations by 2–4 log10cfu/g. The study also reports that a 1-h vinegar treatment can also eliminate Salmonella from contaminated sprouts after germination.