Indexed on: 15 Jan '15Published on: 15 Jan '15Published in: Food Microbiology
This study evaluated the efficacy of aqueous (aQUAT) and isopropyl alcohol-based quaternary ammonium (ipQUAT) sanitizers for reducing Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli O157:H7, or Listeria monocytogenes populations on peanut and pistachio shell pieces. Inoculated nutshells were mixed with QUAT sanitizers, water, or 70% ethanol and enumerated immediately or after incubation at 30 °C for 48 h. None of the treatments had any immediate effect on Salmonella or E. coli O157:H7 populations on the peanut or pistachio shells. L. monocytogenes populations declined immediately on the peanut and pistachio shells treated with aQUAT or ipQUAT. After incubation, Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 populations increased significantly on the water- or aQUAT-treated peanut and pistachio shells. L. monocytogenes populations also increased significantly on the water- or aQUAT-treated peanut shells, but levels did not change on the water-treated pistachio shells and levels were just above the limit of detection on the aQUAT-treated pistachio shells. After treatment with ipQUAT and 48-h incubation, Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 populations decreased to or below the limit of detection on both shell types; L. monocytogenes populations remained at or below the limit of detection on both shell types.