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Efficacy of UV Light Treatment for the Microbiological Decontamination of Chicken, Associated Packaging, and Contact Surfaces

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UV light was investigated for the decontamination of raw chicken, associated packaging, and contact surfaces. The UV susceptibilities of a number of Campylobacter isolates (seven Campylobacter jejuni isolates and three Campylobacter coli isolates), Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, and Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis ATCC 10376 in liquid media were also investigated. From an initial level of 7 log CFU/ml, no viable Campylobacter cells were detected following exposure to the most intense UV dose (0.192 J/cm2) in liquid media (skim milk subjected to ultrahigh-temperature treatment and diluted 1:4 with maximum recovery diluent). Maximum reductions of 4.8 and 6.2 log CFU/ml were achieved for E. coli and serovar Enteritidis, respectively, in liquid media. Considerable differences in susceptibilities were found between the Campylobacter isolates examined, with variations of up to 4 log CFU/ml being observed. UV treatment of raw chicken fillet (0.192 J/cm2) reduced C. jejuni, E. coli, serovar Enteritidis, total viable counts, and Enterobacteriaceae by 0.76, 0.98, 1.34, 1.76, and 1.29 log CFU/g, respectively. Following UV treatment of packaging and surface materials, reductions of up to 3.97, 4.50, and 4.20 log CFU/cm2 were obtained for C. jejuni, E. coli, and serovar Enteritidis, respectively (P < 0.05). Overall, the color of UV-treated chicken was not significantly affected (P ≥ 0.05). The findings of this study indicate that Campylobacter is susceptible to UV technology and that differences in sensitivities exist between investigated isolates. Overall, UV could be used for improving the microbiological quality of raw chicken and for decontaminating associated packaging and surface materials.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Food & Health, Centre for Food Safety, School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland 2: Institute of Food & Health, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland 3: Institute of Food & Health, Centre for Food Safety, School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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