This study assessed the fate of Salmonella enterica (S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium) on cut peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) at two initial levels (4.5 or 2.5 log CFU/g) over six days (0–144 h) at nine conditions, combining temperatures (7, 14 and 21 °C) and relative humidity (RH; 15, 50, and 100%). S. enterica showed a maximum growth rate (μmax) ranging from −0.0083 to 0.0681 1/h, and the highest μmax was achieved at 14 and 21 °C and 100% RH. S. enterica growth did not occur at the lowest temperature and lower RH, at either inoculum level. S. enterica had a μmax of 0.0123 ± 0.0016 1/h when inoculated at 2.5 log CFU/g at 7 °C and 100% RH, but only survived inoculated at 4.5 log CFU/g. For a range of temperature and RH combinations, growth was observed only in cut peppers inoculated at 2.5 log CFU/g. Primary model fits were generally good (R 2 0.61–0.99) as were secondary models (R 2 ~0.97) for μmax as a function of temperature and RH and their interaction. S. enterica behavior on cut peppers is dependent on starting concentration as well as temperature and RH. The generated models may be useful tools to manage the risk of Salmonella growth in cut peppers.
- Microbial modeling
- Minimally processed vegetable
- Salmonella spp.
- Storage conditions