Effectiveness of Chlorinated Water, Sodium Hypochlorite, Sodium Chloride and Sterile Distilled Water in Killing Pathogenic Bacteria on Fresh Produce
AbstractThis study evaluated the efficacy of chlorinated water, sodium hypochlorite solution, sodium chloride solution and sterile distilled water in eliminating pathogenic bacteria on the surfaces of raw vegetables. Lettuce vegetables were dipped in different concentrations of chlorinated water, sodium hypochlorite solution, sodium chloride solution and sterile distilled water for 1,2,3,4 and 5 minutes and analyzed microbiologically. Treatments of the vegetables with chlorinated water, sodium hypochlorite solution, salt water and distilled water did not eliminate the pathogens, but reduced their populations. The bacterial loads were reduced by 38.18 – 69.83% (chlorinated water), 23.74 – 69.13% (sodium hypochlorite solution), 31.62 – 79.0% (salt water) and 14.95 – 42.59% (sterile distilled water). The coliform loads were reduced by 41.2 – 68.9% (chlorinated water), 22.2 – 55.6% (sodium hypochlorite solution), 36.0 – 90.0% (salt water) and 22.2% - 40.0% (sterile distilled water). This suggests that very high concentrations of salt water could be useful in reducing pathogenic microorganisms in fresh produce.
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