Salmonella contamination during production of cantaloupe: a binational study. Academic Article uri icon


  • Six cantaloupe farms and packing plants in South Texas (950 cantaloupe, 140 water, and 45 environmental samples), including the Rio Grande Valley area, and three farms in Colima State, Mexico (300 cantaloupe, 45 water, and 15 environmental samples), were sampled to evaluate cantaloupe contamination with Salmonella and Escherichia coli during production and processing. Samples collected from external surfaces of cantaloupes, water, and the environments of packing sheds on cantaloupe farms were examined for the presence of Salmonella and E. coli. Of a total of 1,735 samples collected, 31 (1.8%) tested positive for Salmonella. Fifteen Salmonella serotypes were isolated from samples collected in Texas, and nine from samples collected in Colima. Two serotypes (Poona and Oranienburg) that have been associated with three large Salmonella outbreaks in the United States and Canada linked to the consumption of contaminated cantaloupe were found in water samples collected at four farms (three from the United States). Susceptibility of Salmonella isolates to 10 antimicrobials was evaluated by disk diffusion. Eighty-eight percent of the isolates from the United States and Mexico were pansusceptible to the antimicrobials tested; eight isolates from the United States demonstrated an intermediate susceptibility to streptomycin and only two isolates were resistant to the same antimicrobial. From Mexico, four isolates showed an intermediate susceptibility to streptomycin and one isolate was resistant to nalidixic acid and streptomycin. Repetitive sequence-based PCR analysis of Salmonella isolates helped to trace potential sources of Salmonella contamination in source water and in subsequent water samples obtained after the filtration systems of U.S. and Mexican cantaloupe farms. No differences could be seen between the levels of Salmonella contamination in melons from both countries.

published proceedings

  • J Food Prot

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Castillo, A., Mercado, I., Lucia, L. M., Martnez-Ruiz, Y., Ponce de Len, J., Murano, E. A., & Acuff, G. R.

citation count

  • 71

complete list of authors

  • Castillo, A||Mercado, I||Lucia, LM||Martínez-Ruiz, Y||Ponce de León, J||Murano, EA||Acuff, GR

publication date

  • January 2004