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Evaluation of Chlorine, Chlorine Dioxide, and a Peroxyacetic Acid–Based Sanitizer for Effectiveness in Killing Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis Spores in Suspensions, on the Surface of Stainless Steel, and on Apples

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Chlorine (10 to 200 μg/ml), chlorine dioxide (10 to 200 μg/ml), and a peroxyacetic acid–based sanitizer (40 and 80 μg/ml) were evaluated for effectiveness in killing spores of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis in suspensions and on the surface of stainless steel and apples. Water and 5% horse serum were used as carriers for spore inoculum applied to the surface of stainless steel coupons, and 5% horse serum was used as a carrier for inoculum applied to apples. Inocula were dried on stainless steel for 5 h and on apples for 22 to 24 h before treating with sanitizers. At the concentrations of sanitizers tested, sensitivities of planktonic B. cereus and B. thuringiensis spores were similar. A portion of the spores surviving treatment with chlorine and, more markedly, chlorine dioxide had decreased tolerance to heat. Planktonic spores of both species were more sensitive to sanitizers than were spores on the surface of stainless steel or apples. At the same concentrations, chlorine was more effective than chlorine dioxide in killing spores in suspension and on stainless steel. The lethality of chlorine dioxide was markedly reduced when inoculum on stainless steel coupons was suspended in 5% horse serum as a carrier rather than water. Chlorine and chlorine dioxide at concentrations of 10 to 100 μg/ml were equally effective in killing spores on apples. Significant reductions of ≥3.8 to 4.5 log CFU per apple were achieved by treatment with 100 μg/ml of either of the two sanitizers. The peroxyacetic acid sanitizer (40 and 80 μg/ml) was ineffective in killing Bacillus spores in the test systems investigated. Results provide information on the effectiveness of sanitizers commonly used in the food processing industry in killing Bacillus spores in suspension, on a food-contact surface, and on a ready-to-eat food.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Center for Food Safety and Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin, Georgia 30223-1797, USA 2: Center for Food Safety and Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin, Georgia 30223-1797, USA; Graduate School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University, Anam-dong, Sungbuk-ku, Seoul, 134-701, Republic of Korea

Publication date: August 1, 2006

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