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Bacteriocidal Activity of Sanitizers against Enterococcus faecium Attached to Stainless Steel as Determined by Plate Count and Impedance Methods

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Enterococcus faecium attached to stainless steel chips (100 mm2) was treated with the following sanitizers: sodium hypochlorite, peracetic acid (PA), peracetic acid plus an organic acid (PAS), quaternary ammonium, organic acid, and anionic acid. The effectiveness of sanitizer solutions on planktonic cells (not attached) was evaluated by the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) suspension test. The number of attached cells was determined by impedance measurement and plate count method after vortexing. The decimal reduction (DR) in numbers of the E. faecium population was determined for the three methods and was analyzed by analysis of variance (P < 0.05) using Statview software. The adhered cells were more resistant (P < 0.05) than nonadherent cells. The DR averages for all of the sanitizers for 30 s of exposure were 6.4, 2.2, and 2.5 for the AOAC suspension test, plate count method after vortexing, and impedance measurement, respectively. Plate count and impedance methods showed a difference (P < 0.05) after 30 s of sanitizer exposure but not after 2 min. The impedance measurement was the best method to measure adherent cells. Impedance measurement required the development of a quadratic regression. The equation developed from 82 samples is as follows: log CFU/chip = 0.2385T 2 − 0.96T + 9.35, r 2 = 0.92, P < 0.05, T = impedance detection time in hours. This method showed that the sanitizers PAS and PA were more effective against E. faecium than the other sanitizers. At 30 s, the impedance method recovered about 25 times more cells than the plate count method after vortexing. These data suggest that impedance measurement is the method of choice when evaluating the number of bacterial cells adhered to a surface.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Food Technology Department, Federal University of Vicosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil, CAPES/Brasilia/Brazil 2: Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, 1334 Eckles Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA

Publication date: July 1, 1998

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