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J Appl Bacteriol. 1990 Oct;69(4):599-608.

Cleanability in relation to bacterial retention on unused and abraded domestic sink materials.

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Campden Food and Drink Research Association, Gloucestershire, UK.


The relative cleanability of stainless steel, enamelled steel, mineral resin and polycarbonate domestic sink materials was assessed by comparing the number of organisms remaining on surfaces after cleaning. In unused condition all materials, other than one enamelled steel, were equally cleanable. Stainless steel, abraded artificially or impact damaged to a similar degree as stainless steel subjected to domestic wear, retained approximately one log order less bacteria after cleaning than the other materials subjected to the same treatments. Little difference in cleanability was recorded between the abraded surfaces of the other materials although enamelled steel surfaces were less cleanable than mineral resin or polycarbonate after impact damage, because of the greater susceptibility of enamelled steel to damage by this treatment. When cleaning time was extended beyond 10 s for the abraded and impact damaged materials, their cleanability was not enhanced as compared with stainless steel. Changes in surface finish after abrasion were assessed by surface roughness measurement and scanning electron microscopy. Surfaces with poor cleanability before and after abrasion were characterized by pitting, crevices or jags. These surfaces are likely to retain more bacteria because of increased numbers of attachment sites, a larger bacterial/material surface contact area and topographical areas in which applied cleaning shear forces are reduced. Materials that resist surface changes, e.g. stainless steel, will remain more hygienic when subjected to natural wear than materials which become more readily damaged.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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