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Volume 5, Number 5—October 1999


Infections Associated with Eating Seed Sprouts: An International Concern

Peter J. Taormina*Comments to Author , Larry R. Beuchat*, and Laurence Slutsker†
Author affiliations: *University of Georgia, Griffin, Georgia, USA; and †Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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Table 2

Control of microorganisms in seed sprouts, by type of treatment and treatment results

Organism, origin Treatment Results of treatment Ref.
Aerobic bacteria, rice seeds 1,000 ppm NaOCl or 10,000 ppm H2O2 102 to 103 reductions in aerobic plate counts; germination inhibited 32
Enterobacteriaceae, pseudomonads, commercial sprouts Washing in water Ineffective in removing bacteria 33
Aerobic bacteria, mung bean sprouts 100 ppm chlorine or 5,000 ppm chlorine Reduced microflora by <1 log and 2 logs, respectively 35
Salmonella Stanley, alfalfa seeds Chlorine and hot water No reduction at low levels; reduction of S. Stanley achieved with 2,040 ppm chlorine 27
Salmonella, alfalfa seeds 1,800 ppm Ca(OCl)2 or 2,000 ppm NaOCl or 6% H2O2 or 80% ethanol Salmonella populations reduced by >3 logs, but pathogen not eliminated 37
E. coli O157:H7, alfalfa seeds 500, 1,000, or >2,000 ppm Ca(OCl)2; 500 ppm acidified ClO2; >100 ppm and 500 ppm acidified ClO2; 30% or 70% ethanol; >1% H2O2; 8% H2O2 for 10 min; dry storage Populations reduced but not eliminated; germination decreased; pathogen unaffected by dry storage at 5ºC 38
E. coli O157:H7, alfalfa seeds at various stages of sprouting 2,000 ppm NaOCl; 200 and 2,000 ppm Ca(OCl)2; 500 ppm acidified ClO2 Populations substantially reduced but not eliminated 30
 S. Stanley, alfalfa seeds Heat, 54 to 71ºC 54ºC for 5 min reduced population from 260 to 6-9 cfu/g; treatment for 10 min reduced viability of seed 27
E. coli O157:H7, alfalfa seeds and sprouts Irradiation at >1.0 kiloGray Pathogen controlled without affecting germination 39

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