Transfer of Escherichia Coli to Lemons Slices and Ice during Handling

  •  Paul Dawson    
  •  Inyee Han    
  •  Ahmet Buyukyavuz    
  •  Wesam Aljeddawi    
  •  Rose Martinez-Dawson    
  •  Rachel Downs    
  •  Delaney Riggs    
  •  Carrrie Mattox    
  •  Alejandro Kurtz    
  •  Mary MacInnis    
  •  Jacob Freeland    
  •  Seth Garrison    
  •  Taylor May    
  •  James McClary    
  •  Frank Monitto    
  •  Trinh Nguyen    
  •  Kelly Polte    
  •  Matthew Suffern    
  •  Zachary Tanner    
  •  Alana Thurmond    
  •  Virginia Ellis    


The objective of this study was to determine the transfer and survival of bacteria during the handling and storage of lemons and transfer of bacteria during handling of ice. Ice and lemon slices are handled and stored in public eating places and used in beverages. During handling and storage the contamination and growth of bacteria may occur leading to the spread of disease. To fulfill the objective, hands were inoculated with Escherichia coli prior to handling of wet and dry whole lemons and in a separate experiment, ice cubes were handled. E. coli transferred to whole lemons or ice after handling were determined. The CFU per lemon and percentage of E. coli transferred were greater for wet lemons -6123 cfu and 4.62% compared to 469 cfu and .2% for dry lemons. The second experiment found from 2 to 67% of the bacteria on hands were transferred to ice by hands and from 30 to 83% of the bacteria on scoops were transferred to ice. In a third experiment, lemons were inoculated with E. coli, then sliced and stored at 4 or 22C and tested at 0, 4 and 24 hr. Lemons stored at room temperature (22°C) had an increase in E. coli population after 24 hour while those stored under refrigeration had a decrease even though bacteria did survive on lemons in either case. 

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