Cross-contamination of Escherichia coli O157:H7 is inhibited by electrolyzed water combined with salt under dynamic conditions of increasing organic matter
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Discipline/sCiencias de la Alimentación
Process wash water
Water can be a vector for foodborne pathogen cross-contamination during washing of vegetables if an efficient method of water disinfection is not used. Chlorination is the disinfection method most widely used, but it generates disinfection by-products such as trihalomethanes (THMs). Therefore, alternative disinfection methods are sought. In this study, a dynamic system was used to simulate the commercial conditions of a washing tank. Organic matter and the inoculum of Escherichia coli O157:H7 were progressively added to the wash water in the washing tank. We evaluated the effectiveness of the electrolyzed water (EW) when combining with the addition of salt (1, 0.5 and 0.15 g/L NaCl) on the pathogenic inactivation, organic matter depletion and THM generation. Results indicated that electrolysis of vegetable wash water with addition of salt (0.5 g/L NaCl) was able to eliminate E. coli O157:H7 population build-up and decrease COD accumulation while low levels of THMs were produce...