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Braz J Microbiol. 2014 Jan 15;44(3):765-70. eCollection 2013.

Evaluation of two recommended disinfection methods for cleaning cloths used in food services of southern Brazil.

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  • 1Instituto de Ciência e Tecnologia de Alimentos, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.


In the State of Rio Grande do Sul (RS), Southern Brazil, a good manufacturing practices regulation was published recommending two disinfection methods for cleaning cloths used in food services. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of those methods. Cleaning cloths were sampled without prior notice at food services, on common working days. For the analyses, the cloths were divided in two sub-samples, being one of them microbiologically analyzed. The second sub-sample was further divided in two pieces and submitted to hand washing for two minutes. After that, one piece was boiled in water for 15 min and the other one was soaked in a 200 ppm sodium hypochlorite solution for 15 min. Both pieces of cloth were submitted to microbiological analyses. Cleaning cloths presented total aerobic mean counts of 6.9 ± 6.7 log/cm(2). All cleaning cloths presented coliform contamination, and 40% demonstrated mean counts of 6.2 ± 5.6 log/cm(2). Presumptive S. aureus mean counts of 5.5 ± 4.9 log/cm(2) were found. No statistic correlation was observed among the number of meals served daily in the food services and the microbiological contamination levels. After washing and disinfection, microbiological counts were significantly (p < 0.05) reduced by both methods, achieving an approximately 5 log reduction. The reductions achieved by the sodium hypochlorite soaking method and the boiling method were not significantly different. Thus, it was possible to conclude that both recommended methods were suitable to disinfect cleaning cloths used in food services.


Brazilian food services; The State of Rio Grande do Sul; cleaning cloths; disinfection

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