Microbiological analyses of commercial sprout seeds indicated aerobic plate counts (APC) and confirmed coliforms ranging from < 30 × 102 to 40 × 103 and from 0 to > 11 × 103/g, respectively. Fecal coliforms were detected in the range from 7.3 to 11 × 102/g; Listeria or Salmonella were not detected. Seeds, pregerminated in potable water (16–18 h, 20–22°C), contained an APC ca. 1 logarithm higher than the corresponding dry seeds. Increased levels of confirmed and fecal coliforms were also detected as a result of soaking. The APC of retail sprouts ranged from 3.6 × 103 to 3.7 × 109/g. All samples contained confirmed and fecal coliforms. Coagulase positive staphylococci were detected in ca. 24% of samples analyzed.

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