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Effect of Several Decontamination Procedures on Listeria monocytogenes Growing in Biofilms

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Listeria monocytogenes is a pathogenic bacterium which has been implicated in several foodborne illnesses. This microorganism grows into biofilms attached to the surfaces in food-processing plants, increasing its resistance to antimicrobial agents. The present work was realized to investigate the attachment of L. monocytogenes isolates to glass surfaces and to find a decontamination procedure to remove these bacteria in biofilms. Three-day biofilms were prepared by growing L. monocytogenes isolates from food plant environments on glass surfaces. Sixteen decontamination treatments at different pHs, temperatures, and times of exposure were tested against L. monocytogenes biofilms. The most efficient treatments were those applied at 63°C. Combinations of decontamination treatments applied at 55°C for 30 min provided different results according to the other factors used. In general, L. monocytogenes biofilms were found to be not very susceptible to high osmolarity (10.5% NaCl), and the interaction of sodium chloride and acid did not seem to have important effects in inactivating these bacteria (from a 1.3- to a 1.9-log-CFU/cm2 reduction). The combination of NaOH (pH 10.5; 100 mM) and acetic acid (pH 5.4; 76.7 mM) applied sequentially at 55°C for even 5 min was shown to be the most effective treatment to remove L. monocytogenes from biofilms (at least a 4.5- to 5.0-log-CFU/cm2 decline).

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Station de Recherches sur la Viande, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Theix. 63122-Saint Genés Champanelle, France; Nutrición y Bromatología, Depto. Ciencias del Medio Natural, Universidad Pública de Navarra, 31006-Pamplona, Spain 2: Station de Recherches sur la Viande, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Theix. 63122-Saint Genés Champanelle, France

Publication date: June 1, 1998

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