The Role of Organic Matrices (dried turkey manure) in the Contamination and Survival of Salmonella spp. on Baby Spinach Leaves
Oni, Ruth Adeola
Buchanan, Robert L
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Microbiological safety of fresh produce has attracted attention due to constant produce outbreaks. Manure contaminated with enteric pathogens has been identified as a major pre-harvest contamination source. This study investigated the survival of <italic>Salmonella</italic> in dust particles generated from dehydrated turkey manure, and how this could serve as an airborne contamination of leafy greens. Laboratory trials of the UV resistance of <italic>Salmonella</italic> in manure dust were also conducted to assess its protective effect; along with greenhouse studies to determine the survival of <italic>Salmonella</italic> in manure dust on spinach leaves. Results indicate survival times were inversely related to moisture content and particle size of manure dust. The presence of manure particles substantially enhanced the pathogen's survival under UV and reduced its inactivation on spinach leaves. This study presents data that could be used to assess the potential role of aerosolized manure as a pre-harvest risk factor for contamination of leafy greens.