In this study, the adhesion of bacteria to fresh cucumber surfaces in aqueous suspension was shown to be dependent on time of incubation, inoculum species and concentration, and temperature. The adhesion of bacteria to the fruit in wash water was less extensive at lower temperatures and shorter exposure times. Various species of bacteria were adsorbed to cucumber surfaces in the following relative order: Salmonella Typhimurium > Staphylococcus aureus > Lactobacillus plantarum > Listeria monocytogenes. Cells were adsorbed at all temperatures tested (5, 15, 25, and 35°C) at levels that depended on incubation time, but the numbers of cells adsorbed were larger at higher incubation temperatures. Levels of adhesion of bacteria to dewaxed fruit were higher for L. monocytogenes and lower for Salmonella Typhimurium, L. plantarum, and S. aureus than were levels of adhesion to waxed fruit.

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Author notes

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Paper number FSR01-40 of the Journal Series of the Department of Food Science, North Carolina State University, Releigh, N.C.