Hot Water Treatments to Inactivate Escherichia Coli O157:H7 and Salmonella in Mung Bean Seeds

J Food Prot. 2008 Apr;71(4):830-4. doi: 10.4315/0362-028x-71.4.830.


The majority of the seed sprout-related outbreaks have been associated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella. Therefore, an effective method is needed to inactivate these organisms on the seeds before they are sprouted. This study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of various hot water treatments to inactivate E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella populations on mung beans seeds intended for sprout production and to determine the effect of these treatments on seed germination after the seeds were dipped in chilled water for 30 s. Mung bean seed inoculated with four-strain cocktails of E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella were soaked into hot water at 80 and 90 degrees C with shaking for various periods and then dipped in chilled water for 30 s. The treated seeds were then assessed for the efficacy of the treatment for reducing populations of the pathogens and the effects of the treatment on germination. After inoculation and air drying, 6.08 +/- 0.34 log CFU/g E. coli O157:H7 and 5.34 +/- 0.29 log CFU/g Salmonella were detected on the seeds. After hot water treatment at 90 degrees C for 90 s followed by dipping in chilled water for 30 s, no viable pathogens were found and no survivors were found in the enrichment medium and during the sprouting process. The germination yield of the seed was not affected significantly. Therefore, hot water treatment followed by dipping in chilled water for 30 s could be an effective seed decontamination method for mung bean seeds intended for sprout production.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control
  • Escherichia coli O157 / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli O157 / growth & development*
  • Fabaceae / microbiology*
  • Food Contamination / prevention & control
  • Food Microbiology
  • Germination
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Salmonella / drug effects
  • Salmonella / growth & development*
  • Seeds / microbiology*
  • Seeds / physiology
  • Time Factors
  • Water


  • Water