Castro-Rosas, Javier; Gómez-Aldapa, Carlos A.; Acevedo-Sandoval, Otilio A.; González Ramírez, Cesar A.; Villagomez-Ibarra, J. Roberto; Hernández, Norberto Chavarría; Villarruel-López, Angélica; Torres-Vitela, M. del Refugio. Frequency and Behavior of Salmonella and Escherichia coli on Whole and Sliced Jalapeño and Serrano Peppers. Journal of Food Protection.74: 874-881
The frequencies of coliform bacteria (CB), thermotolerant coliforms (TC), Escherichia coli, and Salmonella were determined for jalapeño and serrano peppers. In addition, the behavior of four serotypes of Salmonella and three E. coli strains on whole and sliced jalapeño and serrano peppers as well as in blended sauce at 25 2C and 3 to 5C was investigated. Chili peppers were collected from markets in the city of Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico. CB, TC, E. coli, and Salmonella were detected on serrano peppers in 100, 90, 50, and 10 % of the samples, and on jalapeño peppers in 100, 86, 32, and 12 % of the samples. Concentrations of CB ranged from 3.8 to 7.9 log CFU per serrano sample and from 5.3 to 8.2 log CFU per jalapeño sample, whereas concentrations of TC and E. coli were between < 3 and 1,100 most probable number per serrano and jalapeño samples. On whole serrano and jalapeño peppers stored at 25 2C or 3 to 5C, no growth was observed for rifampin-resistant strains of Salmonella and E. coli. After 6 days at 25 2C, the tested Salmonella serotypes and E. coli strains had decreased from an initial inoculum level of 5 log CFU to 1 and 2.5 log on serrano and jalapeño peppers, respectively, and at 3 to 5C they decreased to approximately 1.8 and 1.2 log, respectively, on serrano and jalapeño. Both the Salmonella serotypes and E. coli grew on sliced chili peppers and in blended sauce; after 24 h at 25 2C, both bacteria types had grown to approximately 4 and 5 log CFU on pepper slices and in sauce, respectively. At 3 to 5C the bacterial growth was inhibited.