Test Your Sprouts Knowledge

Ready to test your knowledge of sprouts? Here are some questions about sprouts, based on information featured in the past in our SproutNet Newsletter.  Answers are at the bottom of the section.

Which of the following statements is true?

  1. Surveillance studies have concluded that one to 10 per cent of ruminants --  cattle, sheep, goats, deer -- carry E. coli 0157:H7 at any one time.
  2. Flies, especially houseflies, are widely recognized as potential reservoirs and vectors of foodborne Salmonella pathogens.
  3. Typhoid fever is a type of salmonellosis.
  4. Louis Pasture developed the Binomial Nomenclature System. 
  5. Mung bean seed needs to after-ripen in order to improve the quick germination.
  6. Seed that is not scarified will store far longer than seed that is scarified.
  7. ISS developed the pads to go in the bottom of sprouting containers.
  8. The larger the seed, the higher the yield of sprouts.
  9. ISS developed the first packaging containers that allowed alfalfa sprouts to be grown directly in them.
  10. Sprouts containing more that 10,000,000 bacteria/gram are spoiled and should not be shipped. 
  11. The most important spoilage psychrotroph in sprouts is Pseudomonas. 
  12. The FDA has established a protocol for seed suppliers to sample and test sprouting seed
  13. If you soak sprouting seed in 20,000 PPM Calcium Hypochlorite it will insure you have no pathogens in your sprouts. 
  14. Brown alfalfa seed indicates the seed is immature. 
  15. The next time you buy seed you will make sure it is ISS Screened Sprouting Seed.  
  16. In food production, you should take your gloves in the restroom with you.  

  17. It is a good idea to wash your hands before you go to the bathroom. 

  18. The only acceptable bacteria level on sprouts is no bacterium.  

  19. ISS invented the Trac System of growing green sprouts.  

  20. Some virologists have suggested that Hepatitis E is time bomb likely to cause serious health problems via contaminated food and water in the future because of lack of immunity among the general U.S. population.  

  21. An end product sampling program for sprout production may serve as verification of the HACCP plan. 

  22. Most foodborne illnesses in sprouts have been caused by E.coli 0157:H7. 

  23. Alfalfa seed sprouts best shortly after it is harvest.  

  24. There is evidence that alfalfa sprouts may help slow the processes of aging and reduce the risk of age-related diseases such as cancer and heart attack. 

  25. Seeds respire while in storage. 

  26. When you started commercial sprout growing, you considered yourself a farmer and had no idea  you would need to become an expert in food safety. 

Answers to True/False Section

  1. True
  2. True
  3. True
  4. False. Carl Linnaeus
  5. False
  6. True
  7. True (The year was 1980)
  8. False (The larger the seed, the larger the sprout, not the yield).
  9. True (The year was 1981)
  10. False
  11. True
  12. False
  13. False
  14. F (Green Seed Does)
  15. True (This one's a no brainer)
  16. False
  17. True, before and after
  18. False.  All sprouts have bacteria; we just want to eliminate the ones harmful to humans and sprouts.
  19. True
  20. True
  21. True
  22. False -Salmonella
  23. False - It takes several months to after-ripen
  24. True
  25. True
  26. True

Multiple Choice

1.  Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to:

  1. Salmonella enteritidis
  2. E.coli 0157:H7
  3. Listeria Monocytogenes 
  4. None of the above 

2.  A 6-D reduction of bacteria in is:

  1. A 6 times reduction of cells
  2. 6000 times reduction of cells
  3. 99% reduction of cells
  4. 99.9999% reduction of cells
  5. None of the above

3.  The following is a pathogen that can be found in the interior of eggs:

  1. Salmonella enteritidis
  2. E.coli 0157:H7
  3. Listeria Monocytogenes
  4. None of the above

4.  A biofilm is:

  1. Bacteria that destroys audio as well as video tapes.

  2. A movie about the life and times of Bill Fett.

  3. Film that build up on surfaces and can provide a protective coating to bacteria.

5.  Which of the following are not allowed around the packaging line?

  1. Ear Rings

  2. Pens

  3. Watches

  4. Gum

  5. Food

  6. Medic alert jewelry 

6.  What is the most important quality a seed must have? 

  1. Vigor

  2. Price

  3. Germination

  4. Quick Seed

  5. Safety

7.  Which of the following can be used to detect urine on seed?

  1. Visually inspecting

  2. A black light

  3. Agar

  4. Glacial Acetic Acid

 8.  Which is not coliform?

  1. E. coli

  2. E. coli O157

  3. Klebsiella

  4. Citrobacter   

9.  Alfalfa seed, soaked in 20,000 ppm calcium hypochlorite for 10 minutes should give how large of a reduction in pathogens if any are present? 

  1. 1 log reduction

  2. 2.5 log reduction

  3. 3.5 log reduction

  4. 5 log reduction

10.  Which is an upper respiratory tract pathogen that can be passed by infected food handlers and cause scarlet fever?

  1. Salmonella enteritidis

  2. E.coli 0157:H7

  3. Listeria Monocytogenes 

  4. None of the above 

11. If you send a sample of seed to a lab for testing and they test 20 grams, what is their likelihood of finding a pathogen if the seed lot is highly contaminated at the level of 10 cfu's per kilogram?

  1. Less than 10%

  2. Better than 99.9999%

  3. Same as flipping a coin

  4. None of the above

12. How many seed suppliers properly sample, inspect and test sprouting seed for pathogens?

  1. None

  2. Half

  3. One

  4. All that sell directly into the sprouting industry

Answers to Multiple Choice Section

  1. C. Listeria Monocytogenes
  2. D. 99.9999% reduction of cells (just add or subtract a zero for each log increase of decrease.  A 2 log increase in 6 cfu's would increase the cfu's to 600.)
  3. A. Salmonella enteritidis
  4. C. Film that build up on surfaces and can provide a protective coating to bacteria.
  5. All except F are not allowed.
  6. E. Safety.
  7. B. A black light
  8. All are coliform
  9. C. 3.5 log reduction
  10. D. None of the above (Streptococcus pyogenes)
  11. A. Less than 10%
  12. C. One