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Keywords:

  • aqueous chlorine dioxide;
  • D-value;
  • iceberg lettuce;
  • microbial growth;
  • storage

ABSTRACT:  Inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella typhimurium, and Listeria monocytogenes in iceberg lettuce by aqueous chlorine dioxide (ClO2) treatment was evaluated. Iceberg lettuce samples were inoculated with approximately 7 log CFU/g of E. coli O157:H7, S. typhimurium, and L. monocytogenes. Iceberg lettuce samples were then treated with 0, 5, 10, or 50 ppm ClO2 solution and stored at 4 °C. Aqueous ClO2 treatment significantly decreased the populations of pathogenic bacteria on shredded lettuce (P < 0.05). In particular, 50 ppm ClO2 treatment reduced E. coli O157:H7, S. typhimurium, and L. monocytogenes by 1.44, 1.95, and 1.20 log CFU/g, respectively. The D10-values of E. coli O157:H7, S. typhimurium, and L. monocytogenes in shredded lettuce were 11, 26, and 42 ppm, respectively. The effect of aqueous ClO2 treatment on the growth of pathogenic bacteria during storage was evaluated, and a decrease in the population size of these pathogenic bacteria was observed. Additionally, aqueous ClO2 treatment did not affect the color of lettuce during storage. These results suggest that aqueous ClO2 treatment can be used to improve the microbial safety of shredded lettuce during storage.