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J Food Prot. 2008 Jan;71(1):66-9.

Effect of chemical sanitizers with and without ultrasonication on Listeria monocytogenes as a biofilm within polyvinyl chloride drain pipes.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Russell Research Center, Athens, Georgia 30604-5677, USA.


As part of a biofilm in a floor drain, Listeria monocytogenes is exceedingly difficult to eradicate with standard sanitizing protocols. The objective of these studies was to test the use of ultrasonication to break up biofilm architecture and allow chemical sanitizers to contact cells directly. L. monocytogenes biofilms were created in model polyvinyl chloride drain pipes. Chemical sanitizers (quaternary ammonium, peroxide, or chlorine) were applied to the drain pipes with and without a 30-s ultrasonication treatment. Controls using sterile water were included for comparison. L. monocytogenes cells were enumerated from the liquid in the drain and the inside wall surface of the pipe. All chemicals lowered numbers of planktonic cells from 6.6 log CFU/ml in the water control to < 100 CFU/ml. Attached cells were also affected by the chemical sanitizers. Approximately 6.0 log CFU/cm2 of the inner wall surface was detected in water control pipes, and ultrasonication did not lower these numbers. With or without ultrasonication, the peroxide-based sanitizer was effective for reducing the numbers of attached L. monocytogenes cells, resulting in approximately 2.0 log CFU/cm2. Both the chlorine- and quaternary ammonium-based sanitizers reduced the number of attached L. monocytogenes cells to a lesser degree, resulting in 4.2 to 4.4 log CFU/cm2. However, addition of ultrasonication improved the performance of both these sanitizers, causing a further reduction to 3.1 and 2.9 CFU/ cm2 for quaternary ammonium- and chlorine-based chemicals, respectively. These results indicate that a peroxide-based sanitizer alone can be very effective against biofilm L. monocytogenes in drain pipes, and the addition of ultrasonication can improve the effectiveness of chlorine or quaternary ammonium sanitizers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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