Submitted to: International Association for Food Protection
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 23, 2007
Publication Date: July 6, 2007
Citation: Patel, J.R., Nou, X., Sanglay, G.C. 2007. Efficacy of air cleaning system for control of airborne microbes in a meat processing environment [abstract]. International Association for Food Protection Program and Abstract Book. p. 247. Technical Abstract: Introduction: Air is a potential source of microbial contamination in meat processing plants. The airborne contamination of pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms in these operations may impact public health. Intervention strategies to control all source of contamination of meats, including airborne contaminants, should be included for product safety and quality. Purpose: The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of AirOcare reactive oxygen species (ROS) generating equipment in reducing airborne bacteria in a meat processing environment. Methods: Equal volumes of Serratia marcescens and lactic cultures (Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis and Lactobacillus plantarum were transferred to a 6-jet Collison nebulizer and meat processing room was aerosolized. Immediately after aerosol generation and at 2, 4, 8 and 24 h intervals, air samples were pulled from each location using Staplex 6 stage air sampler at a flow rate of 28.3 L/min. Aerial populations of lactic acid bacteria and S. marcescens were determined using MRS and R2A plates, respectively. Surviving bacterial populations were converted to log10 cfu/m3 and analyzed by ANOVA. Results: More than 4 log10 reductions in S. marcescens populations of this bacterium were observed within first 2-h of treatment (P<0.05) compared to 1 log10 reduction in control treatment. The S. marcescens populations reduced by ~4.5 log10 cfu/m3 after 24 h exposure of ROS. Approx. 3 log10 cfu/m3 reductions in lactic acid bacteria was observed following 2-h exposure with ROS. Further exposure with ROS reduced lactic acid bacteria in air; however, the difference in their survival after 24 h exposure was not significantly different from control treatment. Significance: These findings reveal that reactive oxygen species treatment using AirOcare unit significantly reduces airborne S. marcescens and lactic acid bacteria in meat processing environment within 2-h. The treatment is more inhibitory to S. marcescens than the lactic acid bacteria.