The exposure of foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella enterica to a sub-lethal stress may protect bacterial cells against distinct stresses during the production of leafy greens, which can constitute potential health hazards to consumers. In this study, we evaluated how the prior exposure of S. enterica to sub-lethal food processing-related stresses influenced its subsequent persistence on baby spinach under cold (4°C for 7 days) and temperature abuse (37°C for 2 h+4°C for 7 days) conditions. We also compared the survival characteristics of pre-stressed S. enterica and Enterococcus faecium NRRL B-2354 as its surrogate on baby spinach. A cocktail of three S. enterica serovars, as well as S. Typhimurium ATCC 14028 wild type and its ΔrpoS mutant, and E. faecium NRRL B-2354, was first exposed to sub-lethal desiccation, oxidation, heat shock, and acid stresses. Afterward, baby spinach was inoculated with unstressed or pre-stressed cells at 7.0 log CFU/sample unit, followed...

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