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Efficacy of Two Cleaning and Sanitizing Combinations on Listeria monocytogenes Biofilms Formed at Low Temperature on a Variety of Materials in the Presence of Ready-to-Eat Meat Residue

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Biofilms in the food-processing industry are a serious concern due to the potential for contamination of food products, which may lead to decreased food quality and safety. The effect of two detergent and sanitizer combinations on the inactivation of Listeria monocytogenes biofilms was studied. Combination A uses a chlorinated-alkaline, low-phosphate detergent, and dual peracid sanitizer. Combination B uses a solvated-alkaline environmental sanitation product and hypochlorite sanitizer. The survival of bacterial biofilms placed at 4 and 10°C and held for up to 5 days was also addressed. To simulate conditions found in a ready-to-eat meat-processing environment, biofilms were developed in low-nutrient conditions at 10°C (with and without meat and fat residue) on a variety of materials found in a plant setting. Included were two types of stainless steel, three materials for conveyor use, two rubber products, a wall, and floor material. Biofilms developed on all surfaces tested; numbers at day 2 ranged from 3.2 log on silicone rubber to 4.47 log CFU/cm2 on Delrin, an acetal copolymer. Biofilm survival during storage was higher at 4°C (36.3 to 1,621%) than 10°C (4.5 to 83.2%). Small amounts of meat extract, frankfurters, or pork fat reduced biofilm formation initially; with time, the biofilm cell number and survival percentage increased. Cleaning efficacy was surface dependent and decreased with residue-soiled surfaces; biofilms developed on the brick and conveyor material were most resistant. Both detergents significantly (P < 0.05) removed or inactivated biofilm bacteria. The sanitizers further reduced biofilm numbers; however, the reduction was not significant in most cases for the dual peracid. Using a benchmark efficacy of >3-log reduction, combination A was only effective on 50.0% of the samples. Combination B, at 86.1%, was more effective.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Wisconsin–Madison, Department of Food Microbiology and Toxicology, Food Research Institute, 1925 Willow Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA

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