Survival of Salmonella on Lemon and Lime Slices and Subsequent Transfer to Beverages

Rachel McEgan, Laurel L. Dunn, Michelle D. Danyluk Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 154-161, Mar 2019 Volume 39, Issue 2: Pages 154–161

Little is known about the microbial risks associated with adding lemon and lime slices to beverages in the foodservice industry. Salmonella survival on lemon and limes and transfer from these fruits into water and unsweetened iced tea was examined. Salmonella survival on lemon flavedo is significantly higher (P < 0.05) after 24 h with storage at room temperature (2.45 log CFU/slice) than with storage on ice and refrigerated (below detection limit 0.95 log CFU/slice); the same is true for albedo at room temperature (1.43 log CFU/slice) compared with on ice and refrigeration (below detection limit 0.95 log CFU/slice) after 24 h. Salmonella populations survive poorly on lemon flesh; no significant difference exists between ice and room temperature storage, as populations remain below the detection limit (0.95 log CFU/slice) for the majority of the time points. Lime flesh supports Salmonella survival significantly better than lemon flesh at all time points. Salmonella inoculated onto lime flesh or albedo and held at room temperature or on ice does not decrease over 24 h. Populations on limes at room temperature have the greatest survival. The addition of flavedo or albedoinoculated limes to chilled water results in the greatest Salmonella transfer into the beverage.

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