Investigating the effectiveness of washing cantaloupe melon rind in preventing the transference of surface E. coli into melon flesh
Chan, Adam (author)
Heacock, Helen (Advisor)
British Columbia Institute of Technology School of Health Sciences (Degree granting institution)
Cantaloupe melon was the source of a lethal outbreak of Listeria in 2011. This research investigated whether washing a contaminated cantaloupe rind was sufficient in preventing the transferring of Escherichia coli. Hence, the null hypothesis for this study was that there is no association between washing a contaminated cantaloupe melon and the presence of the contamination in the flesh. In this study, 10 cantaloupes were used to produce a sample size of 20 per washed and unwashed treatments. Each of the samples was transferred to EC broth to determine the presence and absence of Escherichia coli (E. coli), the indicator organism that acted as the “outbreak contaminant.” The results showed 100% of the unwashed melons and 80% of the washed melons to have E. coli transferred into the flesh. A Chi Square analysis produced a p-value of 0.035. The study determined that there was a statistically significant association between washing a melon and the presence of E. coli in the melon flesh. The author recommends washing melon rind as a means to prevent foodborne illness caused by surface contaminants.
© Adam Chan 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyright heron may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means – graphics, electronic, or mechanical including photocopying, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems – without written permission of the author.
Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2014.