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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Effectiveness of Triclosan-Incorporated Plastic Against Bacteria on Meat Surfaces

Author
item Cutter, Catherine

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 21, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Triclosan is an antimicrobial agent that has been incorporated into a variety of personal hygiene products, including hand soaps, deodorants, shower gels, mouthwashes, and toothpastes. In this study, plastic impregnated with 1500 ppm of triclosan was evaluated in the laboratory and on meat surfaces as a means of reducing populations of bacteria. Laboratory experiments indicated that the triclosan-incorporated plastic (TIP) inhibited a variety of bacteria. However, when surface tissues from beef carcasses were inoculated with a bacterium, wrapped in the TIP or control plastic (no TIP), vacuum packaged, and stored up to 14 days under refrigerated conditions, TIP did not inhibit the growth of any of the bacteria tested. This study demonstrates that while TIP is antimicrobial against bacteria in plate assays, it was not effective for reducing bacteria on meat surfaces.

Technical Abstract: Triclosan is a nonionic, broad spectrum, antimicrobial agent that has been incorporated into hand soaps, deodorants, shower gels, mouthwashes, and toothpastes. In this study, plastic containing 1500 ppm of triclosan was evaluated in plate assays and meat experiments as a means of reducing populations of bacteria. Plate assays indicated that the triclosan-incorporated plastic (TIP) inhibited Brochothrix thermosphacta, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Shigella flexneri, Escherichia coli, and several strains of E. coli O157:H7. In meat experiment 1, lean beef surfaces inoculated with B. thermosphacta, S. typhimurium, E. coli O157:H7, or B. subtilis, were covered with TIP, vacuum packaged and stored for 24 h at 4 deg C. Of the organisms tested, only B. thermosphacta was slightly inhibited. In meat experiment 2, beef surfaces were inoculated with E. coli O157:H7, S. typhimurium, or B. thermosphacta, incubated at 4 deg C for 24 h, wrappe in TIP or control plastic, vacuum packaged, and stored at 4 deg C, 14 days. There was slight inhibition of the organisms after initial application with TIP; however, after vacuum packaged storage (14 days at 4 deg C), populations were not different than controls. Beef samples that were temperature abused at 12 deg C also did not exhibit sustainable reductions after 14 days at 4 deg C. Another study indicated that bacteria added directly to TIP were not inhibited after 2 hours of refrigerated storage and that the antimicrobial activity leached from the plastic. This study demonstrates that while antimicrobial activity is detected against bacteria in antimicrobial plate assays, TIP does not effectively reduce bacteria on refrigerated, vacuum packaged meat surfaces.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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