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US: Transfer of pathogens from cantaloupe rind to preparation surfaces and edible tissue as a function of cutting method

Journal of Food Protection: Two preparation methods were compared for the transfer of Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium LT2, murine norovirus, and Tulane virus from inoculated cantaloupe rinds to edible tissue and preparation surfaces. For the first method, cantaloupes were cut into eighths, and edible tissue was separated from the rind and cubed with the same knife used to open the cantaloupes. For the second method, cantaloupes were scored with a knife around the circumference sufficient to allow manual separation of the cantaloupes into halves. Edible tissue was scooped with a spoon and did not contact the preparation surface touched by the rind. Although small reductions in contamination of edible tissue were observed for cut method 2, the extent of microbial transfer underscores the importance of preventing contamination of whole cantaloupes.

Read the full abstract at the Journal of Food Protection