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Bactericidal Properties of Ozone and Its Potential Application as a Terminal Disinfectant

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The efficacy of ozone as a terminal disinfectant was evaluated under laboratory conditions. Different microorganisms of importance to the food industry were inoculated onto stainless steel squares and incubated at various temperatures and relative humidities for up to 4 h. Survival of microorganisms from these controls was compared with identically incubated squares exposed to ozone. Exposure of the contaminated surfaces to ozone (2 ppm for 4 h) resulted in a reduction in microbial viability that ranged, depending on organism type, from 7.56 to 2.41 log values. For all the microorganisms tested, this loss in viability was significantly greater (P < 0.05) than that observed in the absence of ozone. Gram-negative bacteria were more sensitive to ozone than gram-positive organisms; bacteria were more sensitive than the yeast strain tested. Exposure to ozone (2 ppm for 4 h) in the presence of ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk resulted in a reduction in bacterial viability that ranged from 5.64 to 1.65 log values. In most cases, this reduction was significantly less (P < 0.05) than that achieved in the absence of organic material, although still significantly greater (P < 0.05) than that observed in the absence of ozone. The presence of a meat-based broth reduced the effectiveness of ozone to a greater extent, although the number of surviving gram-negative organisms was still significantly less (P < 0.05) than in the absence of ozone. Less than 1 log unit of yeast cells was destroyed when exposed to ozone in the presence of UHT milk or meat-based broth. Results of this investigation suggest that if applied after adequate cleaning ozone could be used as an effective disinfectant.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), Food Safety Research Group, School of Applied Sciences, Colchester Avenue, Cardiff CF23 9XR, UK

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