Attachment and Survival of Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes on Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) as Affected by Relative Humidity, Temperature, and Storage Time. Academic Article uri icon


  • ABSTRACT: Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) are one of the most commonly consumed fruits worldwide. The fruit can become contaminated with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes at various stages of the production and supply chain, and these pathogens may survive under various storage conditions. The effects of relative humidity, temperature, and duration of storage on the attachment and survival of both pathogens on the surface of tomatoes were investigated. Fresh whole Roma tomatoes were inoculated with a cocktail of Salmonella or L. monocytogenes strains and stored at 5, 12, 25, 30, or 35C for up to 10 days. Every day during storage, relative humidity and temperature were measured and tomatoes were removed to enumerate pathogens cells that were loosely attached (LA; cells were detached from the tomato surface by rinsing) and strongly attached (SA; sonication was required to detach cells from the tomato surface). The attachment strength (SR) was calculated to express the proportion of surviving SA cells on the tomato surface. The initial levels of Salmonella and L. monocytogenes on the tomato surface after inoculation were 6.6 and 6.5 log CFU per tomato for LA cells and 5.1 and 5.6 log CFU per tomato for SA cells, respectively. For both pathogens, the LA levels were higher (P < 0.05) than the SA levels. The LA and SA levels differed significantly as a function of temperature, relative humidity, and duration of storage. The SR for Salmonella was affected by storage time but not temperature, whereas the SR for L. monocytogenes was affected by storage time and temperature and relative humidity (P < 0.05). An understanding of the attachment and survival of Salmonella and L. monocytogenes on tomatoes stored under various temperature conditions may be useful for preventing or reducing the establishment of pathogens and for designing improved decontamination methods.

published proceedings

  • J Food Prot

author list (cited authors)

  • Cabrera-Daz, E., Castillo, A., Martnez-Chvez, L., Beltrn-Huerta, J., Gutirrez-Gonzlez, P., Orozco-Garca, A. G., Garca-Frutos, R., & Martnez-Gonzles, N. E.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Cabrera-Díaz, E||Castillo, A||Martínez-Chávez, L||Beltrán-Huerta, J||Gutiérrez-González, P||Orozco-García, AG||García-Frutos, R||Martínez-Gonzáles, NE

publication date

  • July 2022