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The effectiveness of sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS), sodium hypochlorite solution and levulinic acid in reducing the survival of heat adapted and chlorine adapted Listeria monocytogenes ATCC 7644 was evaluated. The results against heat adapted L. monocytognes revealed that sodium hypochlorite solution was the least effective, achieving log reduction of 2.75, 2.94 and 3.97 log colony forming unit (CFU)/mL for 1, 3 and 5 minutes, respectively. SDS was able to achieve 8 log reduction for both heat adapted and chlorine adapted bacteria. When used against chlorine adapted L. monocytogenes sodium hypochlorite solution achieved log reduction of 2.76, 2.93 and 3.65 log CFU/mL for 1, 3 and 5 minutes, respectively. Using levulinic acid on heat adapted bacteria achieved log reduction of 3.07, 2.78 and 4.97 log CFU/mL for 1, 3, 5 minutes, respectively. On chlorine adapted bacteria levulinic acid achieved log reduction of 2.77, 3.07 and 5.21 log CFU/mL for 1, 3 and 5 minutes, respectively. Using a mixture of 0.05% SDS and 0.5% levulinic acid on heat adapted bacteria achieved log reduction of 3.13, 3.32 and 4.79 log CFU/mL for 1, 3 and 5 minutes while on chlorine adapted bacteria it achieved 3.20, 3.33 and 5.66 log CFU/mL, respectively. Increasing contact time also increased log reduction for both test pathogens. A storage period of up to 72 hours resulted in progressive log reduction for both test pathogens. Results also revealed that there was a significant difference (P≤0.05) among contact times, storage times and sanitizers. Findings from this study can be used to select suitable sanitizers and contact times for heat and chlorine adapted L. monocytogenes in the fresh produce industry.
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