The majority of the seed sprout–related outbreaks have been associated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella. Therefore, an effective method for inactivating these organisms on the seeds before sprouting is needed. The current pasteurization method for mung beans in Japan (hot water treatment at 85°C for 10 s) was more effective for disinfecting inoculated E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, and nonpathogenic E. coli on mung bean seeds than was the calcium hypochlorite treatment (20,000 ppm for 20 min) recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Hot water treatment at 85°C for 40 s followed by dipping in cold water for 30 s and soaking in chlorine water (2,000 ppm) for 2 h reduced the pathogens to undetectable levels, and no viable pathogens were found in a 25-g enrichment culture and during the sprouting process. Practical tests using a working pasteurization machine with nonpathogenic E. coli as a surrogate produced similar results. The harvest yield of the treated seed was within the acceptable range. These treatments could be a viable alternative to the presently recommended 20,000-ppm chlorine treatment for mung bean seeds.

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