Alfalfa seed inoculated with five strains of Salmonella or Escherichia coli 0157:H7 were subjected to dry heat at 55C for up to 8 days. Five-log reductions in Salmonella or E. coli 0157:H7 were observed. No Pathogens were detected on the sprouted seeds which were initially inoculated with ca. 2 log CFU/g of Salmonella or more than 8 log CFU/g of E. coli 0157:H7. The percentages of germination of the alfalfa seeds did not significantly decrease after 6 days of heating at 55C.

These results showed that heat treatment of alfalfa seeds at 55C for up to 6 days was effective in enhancing the safety of alfalfa sprouts, without affecting germination significantly.

For more information about this research, contact Dr. Randy Worobo at rww8@cornell.edu.

* The above abstract is from a “Research Note” that appeared in Vol 70, No. 7, 2007, pages 1698-1703, of the Journal of Food Protection, which is the journal of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP)

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