건고추 생산 농장의 위생지표세균과 병원성미생물 오염도 조사
The purpose of this study was to investigate the main source of contamination of dried red pepper by assessing microbial loads on red peppers, washing water, washing machines, harvesting containers, and worker gloves that had come in contact with the dried red pepper. To estimate microbial loads, indicator bacteria (total bacteria, coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli) and pathogenic bacteria (E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, and Clostridium perfringens) were enumerated. The results showed that the numbers of indicator bacteria increased significantly after washing red peppers compared with that before washing (p<0.05). Moreover, E. coli and Listeria spp. were recovered from the red peppers after washing and from the ground water used in the washing process. The number of indicator bacteria on red peppers dried in the green house was lower than that on red peppers dried in a dry oven (p<0.05). However, E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp., L. monocytogenes, and C. perfringens were not detected. These results suggested that a disinfection technique may be needed during the washing step in order to prevent potential contamination. In addition, hygienic practices during the drying step using the dry oven, such as establishment of an optimal temperature, should be developed to enhance the safety of dried red pepper.