Inhibitory concentrations of 8 surfactants were determined for Salmonella typhimurium and Salmonella enteritidis. Pure culture work resulted in the exclusion of Tween 20, Teepol 610 and Brij 35 and retention of Tergitol-7 (T-7), Tween 80 (TW 80), Triton X-100 (TX), Myrj 52S (M), and Arlacel 80 + Tween 60 (AT) for a study on the quantitative recovery of Salmonella in 45 naturally contaminated fatty foods. Replicate food samples (100 g) were preenriched overnight at 35 C in nutrient broth supplemented with 3%(w/v) surfactant except AT (10%). Serial dilutions of preenrichment cultures were selectively enriched overnight in tetrathionate brilliant green (43 C) and selenite cystine (35 C) broths and streaked on bismuth sulfite and brilliant green sulfa agar media. Recovery with all test surfactants was comparable to that obtained with nutrient broth controls; of 270 preenrichment cultures tested, only 7 false-negative results attributable to TX (3), AT (2), M (1), and nutrient broth control (1) were obtained. None of the surfactants consistently yielded greater populations of Salmonella for given foods or food categories; median counts for preenrichment cultures were 104–105 salmonellae/ml for low and high moisture foods and 106–107 salmonellae/ml for animal feeds. These results suggest that use of surfactants to facilitate detection of Salmonella in fatty foods is not warranted.

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