|Title: New Device that Kills Bacteria on Food Surfaces|
US Patent Office Full Record
ARS researchers have designed and built a device that kills bacteria on meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. The device rapidly kills Salmonella and other harmful microorganisms on food by heating the surface with steam and cooling it in a vacuum. Other methods that use heat to kill microbes cause damage to the food surface, giving it an appearance unacceptable to consumers. The new invention surrounds the product with a vacuum to withdraw all air, then flushes it with steam, treats it with a quick burst of 290 degrees Fahrenheit steam, and vacuum cools it. The product retains its raw appearance. In just 25 milliseconds, the new machine kills 99.99 percent of bacteria on poultry. The new machine could be used easily in processing plants. Adding the equipment to a poultry processing plant is estimated to add no more than a penny per pound to processing costs.
Please refer to Patent Number 6,245,294, "Method and Apparatus for Surface Treatment of Materials," which issued on June 12, 2001.