Leafy greens have been associated with foodborne disease outbreaks in different countries. To decrease microbial contamination of leafy greens, chemical agents are commonly used; however, a number of studies have shown these agents to have limited antimicrobial effect against pathogenic bacteria on vegetables. The objective of this study was to compare the antibacterial effect of Hibiscus sabdariffa calyx extracts (water, methanol, acetone, and ethyl acetate), sodium hypochlorite, acetic acid, and colloidal silver against foodborne bacteria on leafy greens. Thirteen foodborne bacteria were used in the study: Listeria monocytogenes, Shigella flexneri, Salmonella serotypes Typhimurium Typhi, and Montevideo, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli O157:H7, five E. coli pathotypes (Shiga toxin–producing, enteropathogenic, enterotoxigenic, enteroinvasive, and enteroaggregative), and Vibrio cholerae O1. Each foodborne bacterium was separately inoculated on romaine lettuce, spinach, and coriander leaves. Separately, contaminated leafy greens were immersed in four hibiscus extracts and in sanitizers for 5 min. Next, green leaves were washed with sterile tap water. Separately, each green leaf was placed in a bag that contained 0.1% sterile peptone water and was rubbed for 2 min. Counts were done by plate count using appropriate dilutions (in sterile peptone water) of the bacterial suspensions spread on Trypticase soy agar plates and incubated at 35 ± 2°C for 48 h. Statistically significant differences (P < 0.05) were calculated with an analysis of variance and Duncan's test. All 13 foodborne bacteria attached to leafy greens. Roselle calyx extracts caused a significantly greater reduction (P < 0.05) in concentration of all foodborne bacteria on contaminated romaine lettuce, spinach, and coriander than did the sodium hypochlorite, colloidal silver, and acetic acid. Dry roselle calyx extracts may potentially be a useful addition to disinfection procedures for romaine lettuce, spinach, and coriander.

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