Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2006 Apr 21;5:13.
doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-5-13.

Pathogen Detection, Testing, and Control in Fresh Broccoli Sprouts

Affiliations
Free PMC article

Pathogen Detection, Testing, and Control in Fresh Broccoli Sprouts

Jed W Fahey et al. Nutr J. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: The recent increased interest in consuming green vegetable sprouts has been tempered by the fact that fresh sprouts can in some cases be vehicles for food-borne illnesses. They must be grown according to proper conditions of sanitation and handled as a food product rather than as an agricultural commodity. When sprouts are grown in accordance with the criteria proposed from within the sprout industry, developed by regulatory agencies, and adhered to by many sprouters, green sprouts can be produced with very low risk. Contamination may occur when these guidelines are not followed.

Methods: A one year program of microbial hold-and-release testing, conducted in concert with strict seed and facility cleaning procedures by 13 U.S. broccoli sprout growers was evaluated. Microbial contamination tests were performed on 6839 drums of sprouts, equivalent to about 5 million consumer packages of fresh green sprouts.

Results: Only 24 (0.75%) of the 3191 sprout samples gave an initial positive test for Escherichia coli O157:H7 or Salmonella spp., and when re-tested, 3 drums again tested positive. Composite testing (e.g., pooling up to 7 drums for pathogen testing) was equally sensitive to single drum testing.

Conclusion: By using a "test-and-re-test" protocol, growers were able to minimize crop destruction. By pooling drums for testing, they were also able to reduce testing costs which now represent a substantial portion of the costs associated with sprout growing. The test-and-hold scheme described herein allowed those few batches of contaminated sprouts to be found prior to packaging and shipping. These events were isolated, and only safe sprouts entered the food supply.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 6 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Fahey JW, Haristoy X, Dolan PM, Kensler TW, Scholtus I, Stephenson KW, Talalay P, Lozniewski A. Sulforaphane inhibits extracellular, intracellular, and antibiotic-resistant strains of Helicobacter pyloriand prevents benzo[a]pyrene-induced stomach tumors. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2002;99:7610–7615. doi: 10.1073/pnas.112203099. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Fahey JW, Zhang Y, Talalay P. Broccoli sprouts: an exceptionally rich source of inducers of enzymes that protect against chemical carcinogens. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1997;94:10367–10372. doi: 10.1073/pnas.94.19.10367. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Fahey JW, Zalcmann AT, Talalay P. The chemical diversity and distribution of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates among plants. Phytochemistry. 2001;56:5–51. doi: 10.1016/S0031-9422(00)00316-2. [corrigendum: Phytochemistry 59, 237.] - DOI - PubMed
    1. Brooks JD, Paton VG, Vidanes G. Potent induction of phase 2 enzymes in human prostate cells by sulforaphane. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2001;10:949–954. - PubMed
    1. Gao X, Dinkova-Kostova AT, Talalay P. Powerful and prolonged protection of human retinal pigment epithelial cells, keratinocytes, and mouse leukemia cells against oxidative damage: the indirect antioxidant effects of sulforaphane. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2001;98:15221–15226. doi: 10.1073/pnas.261572998. - DOI - PMC - PubMed

Publication types

MeSH terms

Feedback