Abstract: We conducted this study to investigate the survival and growth of pathogens on fresh vegetables stored at 4 and 15 °C. Vegetables (romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, perilla leaves, and sprouts) were inoculated with 4 pathogens (Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, and Escherichia coli O157:H7) and stored at 2 different temperatures for different periods of time (3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 d at 4 °C and 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 d at 15 °C). Populations of the 4 pathogens tended to increase on all vegetables stored at 15 °C for 7 d. Populations of E. coli O157:H7 and S. Typhimurium increased significantly, by approximately 2 log10CFU/g, on loose and head lettuce stored at 15 °C for 1 d. No significant differences were observed in the growth of different pathogens on vegetables stored at 4 °C for 15 d. E. coli O157:H7 did not survive on sprouts stored at 15 or 4 °C. The survival and growth of food pathogens on fresh vegetables were very different depending on the pathogen type and storage temperature.
Practical Application: Survivals and growth of pathogens on various vegetables at 4 and 15 °C were observed in this study. Survivals and growth of pathogens on vegetables were different depending on the pathogen type and storage temperature. Therefore, vegetables should be stored under refrigerated conditions (below 4 °C) prior to consumption. This recommendation may vary depending on the type of vegetable.