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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research

Title: Cold plasma rapid decontamination of food contact surfaces contaminated with Salmonella and Escherichia coli 0157:H7

item Niemira, Brendan
item Boyd, Glenn
item Sites, Joseph

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/13/2013
Publication Date: 7/13/2013
Citation: Niemira, B.A., Boyd, G., Sites, J.E. 2013. Cold plasma rapid decontamination of food contact surfaces contaminated with Salmonella and Escherichia coli 0157:H7. Meeting Abstract. IFT Annual Meeting., Chicago, Illinois, July 13-16, 2013.,Volume 1, Page 1..

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Cross-contamination of fresh produce from persistent pathogen reservoirs is a known risk factor in processing environments. Industry requires a waterless, zero-contact, chemical-free method for removing pathogens from food-contact surfaces. Cold plasma was tested for its ability to remove biofilms from food-contact surfaces. Salmonella and Escherichia coli O157:H7 cultures were allowed to form adherent biofilms for 24, 48 or 72 hours on a test surface (glass slides). These were placed on a conveyor belt and passed at various line speeds either 5cm or 7.5 cm under a plasma jet emitter. The frequency of cold plasma generation was varied from 23kHz to 48kHz. Optimized treatments were able to reduce the most durable forms of E. coli O157:H7 biofilms by 1.25 log cfu (5 seconds), 2.46 log cfu (10 seconds) and 3.03 log cfu (15 seconds). These rapid treatments also reduced the most durable forms of Salmonella biofilms by 0.92 log cfu (5 seconds), 1.59 log cfu (10 seconds) and 2.12 log cfu (15 seconds). Reductions were obtained under one atmosphere conveyor belt conditions, using filtered air as the feed gas. The influence of variable frequency high voltage electricity will be discussed. Cold plasma rapidly and effectively inactivated persistent contamination on food contact surfaces associated with fruits and vegetables processing.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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