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Effectiveness of Sanitation with Quaternary Ammonium Compound or Chlorine on Stainless Steel and Other Domestic Food-Preparation Surfaces

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The relative ability of various materials used for domestic and/or food-service sinks and countertops to be sanitized was determined. Both smooth (unused) and abraded surfaces were tested by exposure to 200 mg of quaternary ammonium compound per liter or 200 mg of sodium hypochlorite per liter. Surface materials tested included mechanically polished (type 304, #4 finish) and electropolished stainless steel, polycarbonate, and mineral resin. Surfaces were prepared for testing by allowing attachment of a Staphylococcus aureus culture for 4 h to achieve an initial attached population of 104 to 105 CFU/cm2 The test procedure involved immersion of the surface in sanitizer solution followed by wiping with a sanitizer-saturated cloth. Residual staphylococci were detected by overlaying agar directly on the treated surface. Results indicated that the stainless steels and the smooth polycarbonate, which had 0.5 log CFU/cm2 or fewer of residual staphylococci, were more readily sanitized by quaternary ammonium compound than were either the mineral resin surfaces, which had nearly 2.0 log CFU/cm2 of residual staphylococci, or the abraded polycarbonate which had nearly 1.0 log CFU/cm2 of residual staphylococci. Chlorine was most effective on the mechanically polished stainless steel, the unabraded electropolished stainless steel, and the polycarbonate surfaces, reducing cell populations to less than 1.0 log CFU/cm2. Chlorine was less effective on abraded electropolished stainless steel and mineral resin surfaces, where populations remained greater than 1.0 log CFU/cm2. Sanitation with quaternary ammonium compound or chlorine reduced S. aureus populations more than 1,000-fold on all surfaces except unabraded mineral resin.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Center for Food Safety and Quality Enhancement, Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA

Publication date: January 1, 1997

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