Persistence of Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium on lettuce and parsley and in soils on which they were grown in fields treated with contaminated manure composts or irrigation water

Foodborne Pathog Dis. Spring 2004;1(1):27-35. doi: 10.1089/153531404772914437.


There are many sources of pathogen contamination of vegetable crops in the field that include manure used as fertilizer and irrigation water. An avirulent strain of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium was added to three different types of composts-PM-5 (poultry manure compost), 338 (dairy manure compost), and NVIRO-4 (alkaline stabilized dairy manure compost)-and irrigation water at 10(7) colony forming units (cfu)/g and 10(5) cfu/mL, respectively, to determine under field conditions the persistence of salmonellae in soils treated with these composts or irrigation water, and also on leaf lettuce and parsley grown on such treated soil. Contaminated compost was applied to soil in the field as a strip at a rate of 4.5 metric tons/hectare on the day before lettuce and parsley seedlings were transplanted. Contaminated irrigation water was applied only once on the plants at the rate of 2 liters per plot on the same day after the seedlings were transplanted. Twenty-five plots, each measuring 1.8 x 4.6 meters, were used for each crop, with five treatments (one without compost, three with each of the three composts, and one without compost but applied with contaminated water) and five replication plots for each treatment. Salmonella persisted for 161 and up to 231 days in soils amended with contaminated composts on which lettuce and parsley, respectively, were grown, and was detected for up to 63 days and 231 days on lettuce and parsley, respectively. The type of contaminated compost had minimal effect on the persistence of S. Typhimurium in soil. Occurrence of Salmonella on vegetables and survival in soil on which these vegetables were grown, irrespective of source of contamination through irrigation water or compost, were similar, suggesting both contaminated manure compost and irrigation water can play important roles in contaminating soil and vegetables with Salmonella for an extended period of time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Food Contamination / analysis
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lettuce / microbiology*
  • Manure / analysis
  • Manure / microbiology*
  • Petroselinum / microbiology*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / growth & development*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / isolation & purification
  • Soil / analysis
  • Soil Microbiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Water Microbiology


  • Manure
  • Soil