saving seeds--can seeds get infected with salmonella?

ameera(z11 Dubai)March 17, 2013

I fermented some tomato seeds and last night I was washing them... I went to transfer them from one mesh strainer to the other and a bunch fell in the sink. I went to scoop some out and added them to the rest.

Later I remembered dishes that had raw chicken in/on them were washed in that sink earlier. I live with my in-laws and I am the only one in the household that disinfects the sink with bleach after raw poultry/meats are around (I wasn't the one dealing with the raw poultry last night) I am the crazy paranoid American according to the in-laws LOL

Could the seeds possibly get infected with salmonella that transfers to the whole plant later on?

I have the seeds drying now but I will toss and start over with new tomatoes if that is what is best.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Can they? Yes, the surface. Whether or not it would "transfer to the whole plant"? No, given the survival requirements for that particular bacteria.

There are several ways to disinfect seeds. My personal preference is simply to mist them with a 1:10 bleach solution. Then dry them well.

Other methods of disinfecting are discussed in the Saving Tomato Seeds FAQ and other discussions here.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 11:40AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

As Dave said, only the surface and I don't really think you'd be eating those tomato seeds. ( smile)

I'd say disinfect first, but I don't know how effective that would be for Salmonella and Campylobacter and other potential pathogens that might be present on chicken.

Being a retired Microbiologist if it were me I would start over with new fruits for saving seeds..

Salmonella strains, of which there are well over 100, can only infect by attaching to specific receptors on humans, certain other mammals, reptiles and poultry tissue.

Campylobacter is more prevalent than Salmonella chicken infections and has been for almost 20 years now

Hope that helps,

Carolyn

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 12:00PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

The info I find on sammonella says to wash surfaces with soap and water. It doesn't say bleach. So if the sink was well washed your seeds should not have been exposed.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 1:29PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

mnwsgal - That is true for the sink but not for seeds.

We are talking about disinfecting the seeds. If the sink was cleaned, no problem. If it was not, the seeds may have been contaminated. Most soap has an emulsifier in it that can destroy the seed coating if used on seeds.

Those who save and trade seeds regularly routinely disinfect seeds - of should.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 3:02PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

Bleach can be used - and it really works - but bleach is way harsh. I use 3% hydrogen peroxide solution with impunity around seeds and plants. It doesn't seem to bother them at all.

Not sure how effective H2O2 would be on salmonella, but I wouldn't be worrying much about it anyway. Remember, salmonella is already in the environment, just not in large quantities as in some poultry.

Dennis

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 4:07PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Yes, I was only talking about if the seeds were exposed, not commenting on how to disinfect seeds. OP made a comment that the sink was not bleached and my understanding is that the sink did not need to be bleached so her seeds might not have been exposed to sammonella.

Do you disinfect all your seeds, even those for personal use?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 4:17PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Sorry, I know that it is salmonella. I make more mistakes on my IPad, both my fault and creative automatic correction.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 5:41PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

Well not really disinfect. I put a few drops in the initial soak about 20 minutes before moving to the baggies, then wash them with clean water when they go in. And I've taken to inoculating the towel and baggie with a little H2O2 to keep the inevitable mold down. Maybe you could call that disinfecting; I didn't think of it that way.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 3:39PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Do you disinfect all your seeds, even those for personal use?

Do I? Yes. No point in letting any bacterial or fungal diseases survive to thrive.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 4:31PM
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timmy1(6a ri)

Me thinks the point of salmonella on the surface of a seed being then transferred systemically into this seasons fruit has been overlooked.

Quite simply the answer is no.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 11:02PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Naw Tim - see first post Whether or not it would "transfer to the whole plant"? No, given the survival requirements for that particular bacteria.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 11:39PM
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ameera(z11 Dubai)

Thank you for all the answers. I decided to mist them with the 1:10 bleach solution :)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 10:27AM
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