Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Advances in Food Sanitation: Use of Intervention Strategies

Author
item Arnold, Judy

Submitted to: Food Safety Handbook
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2003
Publication Date: September 1, 2003
Citation: ARNOLD, J.W. ADVANCES IN FOOD SANITATION: USE OF INTERVENTION STRATEGIES. FOOD SAFETY HANDBOOK. 2003.

Interpretive Summary: Food safety issues have emerged due to the increased demand for fresh poultry that has lead to mass-market production. Additional equipment to increase automation has resulted in new surface areas for carcasses to contact repeatedly, and thus, new opportunities for bacterial attachment and contamination. Bacterial contamination of food products is composed of many species of microbes in a biofilm community. During processing of poultry products, bacteria from the carcasses can attach to wet equipment surfaces, form biofilms, and provide a source of contamination for subsequent carcasses. Microbial growth can be controlled by physical and chemical methods. Physical methods include the use of heat, low temperatures, desiccation, osmotic pressure, filtration, and radiation. Chemical agents include several groups of substances that destroy or limit microbial growth on equipment surfaces. Disinfectants can kill bacteria, but not necessarily spores or viruses. Sanitizers reduce pathogens, or disease-causing bacteria, to safe public health levels. Most cleaning products contain a combination of active ingredients depending on the type of soil that is targeted for removal. Prevention of bacterial attachment to surfaces is an alternative strategy. An electropolished surface is more resistant to bacteria than other equipment finishes. Its easy cleaning process and reduction in chemical use make it attractive for industrial applications. Finding the least amount of treatment that effectively inhibits biofilms will be economical for industry and consumers. The ultimate goal is to use this information to reduce the possibility of food-borne transmission of pathogens to humans.

Technical Abstract: Food safety issues have emerged due to the increased demand for fresh poultry that has lead to mass-market production. Additional equipment to increase automation has resulted in new surface areas for carcasses to contact repeatedly, and thus, new opportunities for bacterial attachment and contamination. Bacterial contamination of food products is composed of many species of microbes in a biofilm community. During processing of poultry products, bacteria from the carcasses can attach to wet equipment surfaces, form biofilms, and provide a source of contamination for subsequent carcasses. Microbial growth can be controlled by physical and chemical methods. Physical methods include the use of heat, low temperatures, desiccation, osmotic pressure, filtration, and radiation. Chemical agents include several groups of substances that destroy or limit microbial growth on equipment surfaces. Disinfectants can kill bacteria, but not necessarily spores or viruses. Sanitizers reduce pathogens, or disease-causing bacteria, to safe public health levels. Most cleaning products contain a combination of active ingredients depending on the type of soil that is targeted for removal. Prevention of bacterial attachment to surfaces is an alternative strategy. An electropolished surface is more resistant to bacteria than other equipment finishes. Its easy cleaning process and reduction in chemical use make it attractive for industrial applications. Finding the least amount of treatment that effectively inhibits biofilms will be economical for industry and consumers. The ultimate goal is to use this information to reduce the possibility of food-borne transmission of pathogens to humans.

Last Modified: 11/25/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page