Soak and rinse methods were compared for the recovery of Salmonella from whole cantaloupes. Cantaloupes were surface inoculated with Salmonella cell suspensions and stored for 4 days at 2 to 6° C. Cantaloupes were placed in sterile plastic bags with a nonselective preenrichment broth at a 1:1.5 cantaloupe weight-to-brothvolume ratio. The cantaloupe broths were shaken for 5 min at 100 rpm after which 25-ml aliquots (rinse) were removed from the bags. The 25-ml rinses were preenriched in 225-ml portions of the same uninoculated broth type at 35° C for 24 h (rinse method). The remaining cantaloupe broths were incubated at 35° C for 24 h (soak method). The preenrichment broths used were buffered peptone water (BPW), modified BPW, lactose (LAC) broth, and Universal Preenrichment (UP) broth. The Bacteriological Analytical Manual Salmonella culture method was compared with the following rapid methods: the TECRA Unique Salmonella method, the VIDAS ICS/SLM method, and the VIDAS SLM method. The soak method detected significantly more Salmonella-positive cantaloupes (P < 0.05) than did the rinse method: 367 Salmonella-positive cantaloupes of 540 test cantaloupes by the soak method and 24 Salmonella-positive cantaloupes of 540 test cantaloupes by the rinse method. Overall, BPW, LAC, and UP broths were equivalent for the recovery of Salmonella from cantaloupes. Both the VIDAS ICS/SLM and TECRA Unique Salmonella methods detected significantly fewer Salmonella-positive cantaloupes than did the culture method: the VIDAS ICS/SLM method detected 23 of 50 Salmonella-positive cantaloupes (60 tested) and the TECRA Unique Salmonella method detected 16 of 29 Salmonella-positive cantaloupes (60 tested). The VIDAS SLM and culture methods were equivalent: both methods detected 37 of 37 Salmonella-positive cantaloupes (60 tested).

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Author notes

The use of the commercial rapid method test kits, reported here, does not constitute an endorsement of any these kits, implied or explicit, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), nor does the exclusion of other kits necessarily indicate their unsuitability by USFDA. These kits were chosen because they can detect Salmonella in foods in 3 days or less and for their ease of use in this laboratory.