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Prevalence and Concentration of Salmonella on Raw Shelled Peanuts in the United States

Calhoun, Stephen, Post, Laurie, Warren, Benjamin, Thompson, Sterling, Bontempo, Ann Rogers
Journal of food protection 2013 v.76 no.4 pp. 575-579
Salmonella, peanuts, serotypes
Recalls and/or outbreaks associated with Salmonella contamination in peanut-containing products were reported over the past several years. There are very limited data available on the prevalence and concentration of Salmonella on raw shelled peanuts in the United States. The objectives of this study were to estimate the prevalence of Salmonella on raw shelled peanuts in the United States and to estimate that concentration of Salmonella. Samples of Runner- and Virginia-type raw shelled peanuts from the 2008, 2009, and 2010 crop years were proportionately sampled from each growing region, based on 2007 production volume. Of 944 raw shelled peanut samples (375 g each), 22 (2.33%) were positive for Salmonella by the VIDAS Salmonella assay. Salmonella serovars identified in this study included Agona, Anatum, Braenderup, Dessau, Hartford, Meleagridis, Muenchen, Rodepoort, Tennessee, and Tornow. The concentration levels of Salmonella in positive samples, as determined by a most-probable-number assay, were <0.03 to 2.4 MPN/g. These data will be useful when designing and validating processes for the reduction or elimination of Salmonella in peanuts and/or peanut-containing products.