Friday, October 2, 2015

Study - Removing Pathogens from Produce by Brushing or by Peeling

In this month's Journal of Food Protection, a research article looks at removing pathogens from the surface of produce by brushing and peeling.  Celery, carrots, honeydew and cantaloupes were inoculated with high does of pathogens, brushed and or peeled, and then analyzed.

In the end, it comes down to this  - if, as in this study, produce is heavily contaminated with pathogens, those pathogen can be difficult to remove with either brushing or peeling, especially once the brushes or peelers become contaminated.  But in reality, with very few exceptions where GAPs are not follow, pathogens are absent from produce.

A few of the findings:
  • "Pathogen removal (either E. coli O157:H7 or Salmonella) was significantly lower from contaminated cantaloupes than from other contaminated produce items".  Yeah, it's the rougher surface, so it is going to stick there.
  • "Both pathogens could still be detected on all produce items brushed with any of the three brush types suggest that contamination of the peeler is a likely route for transfer of pathogens from the surface to the internal tissues."  Once your cleaning tools encounter contamination, they can spread it. 
  • "The incidence of contamination for the nylon brush was significantly lower than that for the Sparta brush, which in turn was significantly lower than that for the scouring pad."  The harder to clean the brush or pad, the more that it can contaminate.
  • "To reduce risk further, consumers should be advised that brushing or peeling under running water may be beneficial for limiting contamination of the utensil and thus the risk of cross contamination to noncontaminated produce items subsequently processed with the same utensil."  Keep your brushes and peelers clean.
Carlisle 4054102 8 inch White Sparta Spectrum General Clean Up / Pot Scrub Brush
A Sparta Brush
Journal of Food Protection®, Number 9, September 2015, pp. 1624-1769, pp. 1624-1631(8)
Role of Brushes and Peelers in Removal of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella from Produce in Domestic Kitchens
Authors: Erickson, Marilyn C.1; Liao, Jean2; Cannon, Jennifer L.2; Ortega, Ynes R.2

No comments:

Post a Comment