Food Hygiene Laboratory, National Food Research Institute Food Technology Division, Kannondai-2-1-12, Tsukuba 305-8642, Japan.
A study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of electrolyzed acidic water, 200-ppm chlorine water, and sterile distilled water in killing Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes on the surfaces of spot-inoculated tomatoes. Inoculated tomatoes were sprayed with electrolyzed acidic water, 200-ppm chlorine water, and sterile distilled water (control) and rubbed by hand for 40 s. Populations of E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, and L. monocytogenes in the rinse water and in the peptone wash solution were determined. Treatment with 200-ppm chlorine water and electrolyzed acidic water resulted in 4.87- and 7.85-log10 reductions, respectively, in Escherichia coli O157:H7 counts and 4.69- and 7.46-log10 reductions, respectively, in Salmonella counts. Treatment with 200-ppm chlorine water and electrolyzed acidic water reduced the number of L. monocytogenes by 4.76 and 7.54 log10 CFU per tomato, respectively. This study’s findings suggest that electrolyzed acidic water could be useful in controlling pathogenic microorganisms on fresh produce.