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... Furthermore, they are also often associated with rinsing or cleaning operations e.g. high pressure cleaning of drains or floors (Faille and Billet, 2020), which causes the dispersion of water droplets over distances sometimes exceeding 2 m in height and 5 m in length (Holah, 2018). One of the major problems posed by these bioaerosols is that some harmful bacteria are able to survive inside droplets or even resist further desiccation. ...
The formation of deposits by evaporation of droplets contaminated by Bacillus spores was investigated, focusing on the role of spore and material properties. Droplets containing hydrophilic to hydrophobic spores were deposited on materials (stainless steels, polypropylene, glass). The presence of spores within the droplets, as well as material hydrophobicity plays a major role in the kinetics of the droplet shape during drying while the pattern of the dried deposit was affected by both material and spore properties. The resistance to detachment of the different deposits was then investigated. After a single rinsing procedure, a very high resistance to detachment of adherent spores was observed (up to 90% of residual spores). The hydrophilic Bs PY79 spores were the least resistant to removal, while the differences between materials were not pronounced. The ease of cleaning of the dried deposits was much greater. The least resistant spores were still the Bs PY79 ones, while the detachment was 3–100 times more effective on glass than on other materials.
These results highlight the predominant role of hydrophilic/hydrophobic properties of particles and materials on the structure of deposits and their further resistance to rinsing and cleaning procedures.
Airborne communities (mainly bacteria) were sampled and characterized (concentration levels and diversity) at 1 outdoor and 6 indoor sites within a Swiss dairy production facility. Air samples were collected on 2 sampling dates in different seasons, one in February and one in July 2012 using impaction bioaerosol samplers. After cultivation, isolates were identified by mass spectrometry (matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flight) and molecular (sequencing of 16S rRNA and rpoB genes) methods. In general, total airborne particle loads and total bacterial counts were higher in winter than in summer, but remained constant within each indoor sampling site at both sampling times (February and July). Bacterial numbers were generally very low (<100 cfu/m(3) of air) during the different steps of milk powder production. Elevated bacterial concentrations (with mean values of 391 ± 142 and 179 ± 33 cfu/m(3) of air during winter and summer sampling, respectively; n = 15) occurred mainly in the "logistics area," where products in closed tins are packed in secondary packaging material and prepared for shipping. However, total bacterial counts at the outdoor site varied, with a 5- to 6-fold higher concentration observed in winter compared with summer. Twenty-five gram-positive and gram-negative genera were identified as part of the airborne microflora, with Bacillus and Staphylococcus being the most frequent genera identified. Overall, the culturable microflora community showed a composition typical and representative for the specific location. Bacterial counts were highly correlated with total airborne particles in the size range 1 to 5 µm, indicating that a simple surveillance system based upon counting of airborne particles could be implemented. The data generated in this study could be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the dairy plant's sanitation program and to identify potential sources of airborne contamination, resulting in increased food safety.
Bioaerosol concentrations in office environments and their roles in causing building-related symptoms have drawn much attention in recent years. Most bioaerosol studies have been cross-sectional. We conducted a longitudinal study to examine the characteristics of airborne fungal populations and correlations with other environmental parameters in office environments. We investigated four office buildings in Boston, Massachusetts, during 1 year beginning May 1997, recruiting 21 offices with open workstations. We conducted intensive bioaerosol sampling every 6 weeks resulting in 10 sets of measurement events at each workstation, and recorded relative humidity, temperature, and CO2 concentrations continuously. We used principal component analysis (PCA) to identify groups of culturable fungal taxa that covaried in air. Four major groupings (PCA factors) were derived where the fungal taxa in the same groupings shared similar ecological requirements. Total airborne fungal concentrations varied significantly by season (highest in summer, lowest in winter) and were positively correlated with relative humidity and negatively related to CO2 concentrations. The first and second PCA factors had similar correlations with environmental variables compared with total fungi. The results of this study provide essential information on the variability within airborne fungal populations in office environments over time. These data also provide background against which cross-sectional data can be compared to facilitate interpretation. More studies are needed to correlate airborne fungi and occupants' health, controlling for seasonal effects and other important environmental factors.
We evaluate the effect of epoxy surface structuring on the evaporation of water droplets containing Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis). During evaporation, droplets with S. epidermidis cells yield to complex wetting patterns such as the zipping-wetting and coffee-stain effects. Depending on the height of the microstructure, the wetting fronts propagate circularly or in a stepwise manner, leading to the formation of octagonal or square-shaped deposition patterns. We observed that the shape of the dried droplets has considerable influence on the local spatial distribution of S. epidermidis deposited between micropillars. These changes are attributed to an unexplored interplay between the zipping-wetting and the coffee-stain effects in polygonally-shaped droplets containing S. epidermidis. Induced capillary flows during evaporation of S. epidermidis are modeled with polystyrene particles. Bacterial viability measurements for S. epidermidis shows high viability of planktonic cells, but low biomass deposition on the microstructured surfaces. Our findings provide insights into design criteria for the development of microstructured surfaces on which bacterial propagation could be controlled, limiting the use of biocides.
In various environments, including that of food processing, adherent bacteria are often subjected to drying conditions. These conditions have been shown to result in changes in the ability of biofilms to cross-contaminate food in contact with them. In this study, we investigated the consequences of a drying step on the further ability of adherent bacterial spores to resist detachment. An initial series of experiment was set up with latex microspheres as a model. A microsphere suspension was deposited on a glass slide and incubated at 25, 35 and 50 °C for times ranging from 1 h to 48 h. By subjecting the dried slides to increasing water flow rates, we showed that both time and temperature affected the ease of microsphere detachment. Similar observations were made for three Bacillus spores despite differences in their surface properties, especially regarding their surface physicochemistry. The differences in ease of adherent spore detachment could not be clearly linked to the minor changes in spore morphology, observed after drying in various environmental conditions. In order to explain the increased interaction between spheres or spores and glass slides, the authors made several assumptions regarding the possible underlying mechanisms: the shape of the liquid bridge between the sphere and the substratum, which is greatly influenced by the hydrophilic/hydrophobic characters of both surfaces; the accumulation of soil at the liquid/air interface; the presence of trapped nano-bubbles around and/or under the sphere.
The air is an important potential source of microorganisms, including pathogens. Microbial aerosols in high-risk food production environments can be controlled using the appropriate air filters combined with production practices that minimise aerosol generation within the high-risk area. Measures to control dust, temperature and humidity may also be required. 'Plastic' packaging can generate high electrostatic charge that can increase the rate of microbial contamination. There are several methods to disinfect air including disinfectant fogging, UV, ozone and hydrogen peroxide. The number of airborne microorganisms can be determined using a variety of air sampling methods. There are critical factors in the use of these methods including use of correction tables and sampler calibration. The relationship between airborne counts and different product contamination rates is described.
Processing plant air is a source of post-pasteurization contamination of dairy products. Little is known about the extent to which biological aerosols contaminate pasteurized products, however evidence indicates that air within a packaging area is a critical control point for both pathogens and spoilage microorganisms. Consequently, it is important to understand the characteristics of biological aerosols, learn how to control their occurrence, and discover practical and valid monitoring methods. Methods used for monitoring viable particles in air include the use of sedimentation plates, impingers, slit and sieve impactors, filters, and centrifugal samplers. Each of these methods has limitations on its usefulness for dairy plant air monitoring. Microorganisms are often injured due to the stresses of the aerosolized state and consequently may not grow on selective media. Sampling methods such as impingement and filtration which subject the organisms to additional stress may cause sufficient injury to prevent growth on non-selective media. However, gentler collection methods such as centrifugal samplers may not generate enough force to collect the smallest viable particles. Aerosols are generated within the dairy plant by worker activity, sink and floor drains, water spraying, and air conditioning systems. Environmental sanitation, air filtration, air flow control, and control over personnel cleanliness and activity are useful control measures. The adoption of “clean room” design principles for a packaging area will aid in controlling biological aerosols in new dairy processing plants.
Cross-contamination between foods and surfaces in food processing environments and home kitchens may play a significant role in foodborne disease transmission. This study quantifies the cross-contamination rates between a variety of fresh-cut produce and common kitchen surfaces (ceramic,
stainless steel, glass, and plastic) using scenarios that differ by cross-contamination direction, surface type, produce type, and drying time/moisture level. A five-strain cocktail of rifampin-resistant Salmonella was used in transfer scenarios involving celery, carrot, and watermelon,
and a five-strain cocktail of rifampin-resistant Escherichia coli O157:H7 was used in transfer scenarios involving lettuce. Produce or surface coupons were placed in buffer-filled filter bags and homogenized or massaged, respectively, to recover cells. The resulting solutions were serially
diluted in 0.1% peptone and surface plated onto tryptic soy agar with 80 μg/ml rifampin and bismuth sulfite agar with 80 μg/ml rifampin for Salmonella or sorbitol MacConkey agar with 80 μg/ml rifampin for E. coli O157:H7. When the food contact surface was freshly inoculated,
a high amount (>90%) of the inoculum was almost always transferred to the cut produce item. If the inoculated food contact surfaces were allowed to dry for 1 h, median transfer was generally >90% for carrots and watermelon but ranged from
Two test vegetative bacteria, Pseudomonas syringae and Erwinia herbicola, and a physical aerosol decay indicator, Bacillus subtilis var. niger spores, were sprayed into a particle size fractionating wind tunnel. Test bacterial survival significantly increased directly with droplet size for varying test cell to spore ratios and temperature. However, survival varied inversely with relative humidity.
Evaporative deposition from a sessile drop is a simple and appealing way to deposit materials on a surface. In this work, we deposit living, motile colloidal particles (bacteria) on mica from drops of aqueous solution. We show for the first time that it is possible to produce a continuous variation in the deposition pattern from ring deposits to cellular pattern deposits by incremental changes in surface wettability which we achieve by timed exposure of the mica surface to the atmosphere. We show that it is possible to change the contact angle of the drop from less than 5 degrees to near 20 degrees by choice of atmospheric exposure time. This controls the extent of drop spreading, which in turn determines the architecture of the deposition pattern.
In this report we describe the results of a study conducted to determine the rates of bacterial aerosol emission from the surfaces of the aeration tanks of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago John E. Egan Water Reclamation Plant. This study was accomplished by conducting test runs in which Andersen six-stage viable samplers were used to collect bacterial aerosol samples inside a walled tower positioned above an aeration tank liquid surface at the John E. Egan Water Reclamation Plant. The samples were analyzed for standard plate counts (SPC), total coliforms (TC), fecal coliforms, and fecal streptococci. Two methods of calculation were used to estimate the bacterial emission rate. The first method was a conventional stack emission rate calculation method in which the measured air concentration of bacteria was multiplied by the air flow rate emanating from the aeration tanks. The second method was a more empirical method in which an attempt was made to measure all of the bacteria emanating from an isolated area (0.37 m2) of the aeration tank surface over time. The data from six test runs were used to determine bacterial emission rates by both calculation methods. As determined by the conventional calculation method, the average SPC emission rate was 1.61 SPC/m2/s (range, 0.66 to 2.65 SPC/m2/s). As determined by the empirical calculation method, the average SPC emission rate was 2.18 SPC/m2/s (range, 1.25 to 2.66 SPC/m2/s). For TC, the average emission rate was 0.20 TC/m2/s (range, 0.02 to 0.40 TC/m2/s) when the conventional calculation method was used and 0.27 TC/m2/s (range, 0.04 to 0.53 TC/m2/s) when the empirical calculation method was used.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
The retention of bacteria on food contact surfaces increases the risk of cross-contamination of these microorganisms to food. The risk has been considered to be lowered when the surfaces are dry, partly because bacterial growth and survival would be reduced. However, some non-spore-forming bacteria might be able to withstand dry conditions on surfaces for an extensive period of time. In this study the survival of Salmonella enteritidis, Staphylococcus aureus and Campylobacter jejuni on stainless steel surfaces at different initial levels was determined at room temperature. The transfer rates of these pathogens from kitchen sponges to stainless steel surfaces and from these surfaces to foods were also investigated. Staph. aureus was recovered from the surfaces for at least 4 days when the contamination level was high (10 5 CFU/cm2) or moderate (103 CFU/cm 2). At low levels (10 CFU/cm2), the surviving numbers decreased below the detection limit (4 CFU/100 cm2) within 2 days. S. enteritidis was recovered from surfaces for at least 4 days at high contamination levels, but at moderate level, the numbers decreased to the detection limit within 24 h and at low level within 1 h. C. jejuni was the most susceptible to slow-air-drying on surfaces; at high contamination levels, the numbers decreased below the detection limit within 4 h. The test microorganisms were readily transmitted from the wet sponges to the stainless steel surfaces and from these surfaces to the cucumber and chicken fillet slices, with the transfer rates varied from 20% to 100%. This study has highlighted the fact that pathogens remain viable on dry stainless steel surfaces and present a contamination hazard for considerable periods of time, dependent on the contamination levels and type of pathogen. Systematic studies on the risks of pathogen transfer associated with surface cleaning using contaminated sponges provide quantitative data from which a model of risks assessment in domestic setting could lead.
Enterobacter sakazakii (E. sakazakii) contamination of powdered infant formula (PIF) and its processing environment was monitored between April 2005 and March 2006. The purpose of the monitoring programme was to locate points of contamination, investigate clonal persistence, and identify possible dissemination routes along the processing chain. A total of 80 E. sakazakii isolates were recovered from the manufacturing facility. The overall frequency of isolation of E. sakazakii in intermediate and final product was 2.5%, while specific locations in the processing environment were contaminated at frequencies up to 31%. All E. sakazakii isolates were characterised by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). XbaI macrorestriction digests yielded 19 unique pulse-types that could be grouped into 6 clusters of between 5 and 32 isolates. The formation of large clusters was consistent with the presence of a number of clones in the manufacturing environment. While the majority of isolates were of environmental origin (72.5%), no cluster was confined to one specific location and indistinguishable PFGE profiles were generated from isolates cultured from the manufacturing environment, sampling points along the processing chain and from intermediate and final product. These findings suggest that the manufacturing environment serves as a key route for sporadic contamination of PIF. These data will support the development of efficient intervention measures contributing to the reduction of E. sakazakii in the PIF processing chain.
The objective of this study was to determine the factors involved in the transfer of Listeria monocytogenes from surfaces to foods. We evaluated the influence of surface type (stainless steel and high-density polyethylene), inoculation method (biofilm growth and attached cells), hydration level (visibly dry and wet), and food type (bologna and American cheese). Each experiment included all 16 combinations and was repeated 11 times. A four-strain cocktail of L. monocytogenes was used to inoculate stainless steel and high-density polyethylene either as growing biofilms or attached cells. Slides were placed on a universal testing machine and brought into contact with food at a constant pressure (45 kPa) and time (30 s). Food slices were blended, the number of transferred cells was determined by plating, and the efficiency of transfer (EOT) was calculated. The results strongly suggest that stainless steel surfaces transferred more L. monocytogenes to foods than did polyethylene (P = 0.05). Independent of the surface, biofilms tended to transfer more L. monocytogenes to foods (EOT = 0.57) than did attached cells (EOT = 0.16). Among foods, L. monocytogenes was transferred to bologna more easily than to cheese (P < 0.05). The impact of hydration on transfer was significantly higher for dried biofilms growing on stainless steel (P < 0.05). No significant differences for hydration were seen under other conditions (P > 0.05). We hypothesize that drying weakens cell-to-cell interactions in biofilms and cell-to-surface interactions of biofilms and thus allows increased transfer of cells to food products.
Characteristics of Biological Aerosols in Dairy Processing Plants
Y J Kang
J F Frank
Kang YJ, Frank JF. Characteristics
of Biological Aerosols in Dairy
Processing Plants. J Dairy Sci [Internet].
1990;73(3):621-6. Available from: