Castro-Rosas, J. and Escartín, E.F. 1999. Incidence and germicide sensitivity of Salmonella typhi and Vibrio cholerae O1 in alfalfa sprouts. Journal of Food Safety. 19 : 137-146.
The prevalence of some enteric bacteria in alfalfa sprouts obtained from public markets and supermarkets in Queretaro City was determined. In addition, the antimicrobial effect of several commercial germicides was tested on alfalfa sprouts for reduction of native coliforms and inoculated Vibrio cholerae Ol or Salmonella typhi. Escherichia coli and Salmonella sp. were detected in 74% and 1.1% of 90 of samples, respectively, and no sample tested positive to V. cholerae Ol. Coliforms ranged from 7.3 to 8.5 log10 CFU/g. Treatment of alfalfa sprouts with 200 mg/L of hypochlorite, of a commercial iodophor, or of chlorine dioxide, or with 100 mg/L of Citricidal for 5 min, reduced native coliforms only by 12 log10 CFU/g. Reductions of S. typhi and V. cholerae O1 with 200 mg/L of sodium hypochlorite and 100 mg/L Citricidal were also no more than J.5 log10 CFU/g. Sprouts from seeds contaminated with V. cholerae O1 that were irrigated daily with water containing 100 mg/L chlorine dioxide, showed significantly lower V. cholerae Ol counts than seeds irrigated with tap water (p<0.05). However, V. cholerae O1 persisted after 8 days of sprouting, when the sprouts are ready for marketing. Treatment of seeds and sprouts with antimicrobials does not appear to be effective for reducing pathogens to safe levels.