Potential sanitizer to ensure food safety
Trends of increasing consumption of fresh produce coincide with increasing cases of foodborne illnesses and outbreaks. Chlorine-based sanitizers are commonly used disinfectant chemicals in the fresh produce industry because of the low cost and high efficacy in pathogen inactivation. However, the production of toxic disinfection by-products during chlorine sanitation pose potential threats to consumers' health. UGA food scientists evaluated activated persulfate, a relatively new advanced oxidation process, for its efficacy on inactivation of foodborne pathogens. The results indicated that sodium persulfate activated by ferrous sulfate and sodium hydroxide can effectively inactivate E. coli O157: H7 and L. monocytogenes. They concluded that activated persulfate can be used as a novel sanitizer for fresh produce sanitation.