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Title: Incidence and behavior of salmonella and escherichia coli on whole and sliced zucchini squash (Cucurbita pepo) fruit
Author: Castro-Rosas, J.
Santos Lopez, E.M.
Gomez-Aldapa, C.A.
Ramirez, C.A.G.
Villagomez-Ibarra, J.R.
Gordillo-Martinez, A.J.
Lopez, A.V.
Del Refugio Torres-Vitela, M.
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: The incidence of coliform bacteria (CB), thermotolerant coliforms (TC), Escherichia coli, and Salmonella was determined for zucchini squash fruit. In addition, the behavior of four serotypes of Salmonella and a cocktail of three E. coli strains on whole and sliced zucchini squash at 25 � 2�C and 3 to 5�C was tested. Squash fruit was collected in the markets of Pachuca city, Hidalgo State, Mexico. CB, TC, E. coli, and Salmonella were detected in 100, 70, 62, and 10% of the produce, respectively. The concentration ranged from 3.8 to 7.4 log CFU per sample forCB, and < 3 to 1,100 most probable number per sample for TC and E. coli. On whole fruit stored at 25 � 2�C or 3 to 5�C, no growth was observed for any of the tested microorganisms or cocktails thereof. After 15 days at 25 � 2�C, the tested Salmonella serotypes had decreased from an initial inoculum level of 7 log CFU to < 1 log, and at 3 to 5�C they decreased to approximately 2 log. Survival of E. coli was significantly greater than for the Salmonella strains at the same times and temperatures; after 15 days, at 25 � 2�C E. coli cocktail strains had decreased to 3.4 log CFU per fruit and at 3 to 5�C they decreased to 3.6 log CFU per fruit. Both the Salmonella serotypes and E. coli strains grew when inoculated onto sliced squash:after 24 h at 25 � 2�C, both bacteria had grown to approximately 6.5 log CFU per slice. At 3 to 5�C, the bacterial growth was inhibited. The squash may be an important factor contributing to the endemicity of Salmonella in Mexico. Copyright � International Association for Food Protection.
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