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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: New Device that Kills Bacteria on Food Surfaces
See also: US Patent Office Full Record

Patent Number: 6245294
Docket Number: 21297
Serial Number: 9213804
Date Patented: 06/12/2001

Technology Description:

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.


Neil Goldberg
Engineering Science Research
Wyndmoor, PA  19038
(215) 233-6590 / Fax: (215) 233-6795

Richard E. Radewonuk
(Same as first inventor)
(215) 233-6496 / Fax: (215) 233-6795

Michael F. Kozempel
(Same as first inventor)
(215) 233-6588 / Fax: (215) 233-6795
Arthur I. Morgan (retired)






Last Modified: 10/1/2015
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