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Forskningsartikel2017Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Emerging microbiota during cold storage and temperature abuse of ready-to-eat salad​

Söderqvist, Karin; Osman, Omneya Ahmed; Wolff, Cecilia; Bertilsson, Stefan; Vågsholm, Ivar; Boqvist, Sofia


Introduction: Ready-to-eat (RTE) leafy vegetables have a natural leaf microbiota that changes during different processing and handling steps from farm to fork. The objectives of this study were (i) to compare the microbiota of RTE baby spinach and mixed-ingredient salad before and after seven days of storage at 8°C or 15°C; (ii) to explore associations between bacterial communities and the foodborne pathogens Listeria monocytogenes, pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica, and pathogen model organism Escherichia coli O157:H7 gfp+ when experimentally inoculated into the salads before storage; and (iii) to investigate if bacterial pathogens may be detected in the 16S rRNA amplicon dataset.

Material and methods: The microbiota was studied by means of Illumina 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Subsets of samples were inoculated with low numbers (50–100 CFU g−1) of E. coli O157:H7 gfp+, pathogenic Yenterocolitica or Lmonocytogenes before storage.

Results and discussion: The composition of bacterial communities changed during storage of RTE baby spinach and mixed-ingredient salad, with Pseudomonadales as the most abundant order across all samples. Although pathogens were present at high viable counts in some samples, they were only detected in the community-wide dataset in samples where they represented approximately 10% of total viable counts. Positive correlations were identified between viable counts of inoculated strains and the abundance of Lactobacillales, Enterobacteriales, and Bacillales, pointing to positive interactions or similar environmental driver variables that may make it feasible to use such bacterial lineages as indicators of microbial health hazards in leafy vegetables. The data from this study contribute to a better understanding of the bacteria present in RTE salads and may help when developing new types of biocontrol agents.​

Publicerad i

Infection Ecology & Epidemiology
2017, Volym: 7, nummer: 1, artikelnummer: 1328963