The use of cleaning agents and sanitizers in routine sanitation programs to ensure food safety is necessary in the poultry industry to prevent contamination of food products with pathogens and to reduce quality problems such as spoilage. This study evaluated the efficacy of quaternary ammonium compounds (QAC) on different types of conveyor belt materials contaminated with poultry rinsate. Six different types and designs of processing conveyor belts were used in the experiment: (1) canvas (polyurethane with monopolyester fabric <1% mesh), (2) acetal 3.2% mesh, (3) polypropylene 48% mesh, (4) polypropylene meshtop 24% mesh, (5) stainless steel-single loop 80% mesh, and (6) stainless steel-balance weave 70% mesh. Commercial conveyor belts that had never been used were cut into chips so as to include interlocking joints, after which the chips were cleaned and sanitized before being exposed to contaminated poultry rinsate for 1 h. The contaminated chips were sprayed with 200 ppm QAC and allowed to stand for 10 min prior to bacterial enumerations (aerobic mesophiles and coliforms). In general, the QAC was more effective against mesophilic bacteria on stainless steel chips (3 log CFU/cm2 reduction) than on canvas, acetal, polypropylene, and polypropylene materials (1.5 to 2.3 log CFU/cm2 reduction). Similarly, the sanitizer reduced the coliform counts to undetected levels (>2 log CFU/cm2) in all the conveyor chips except those of the canvas material. The findings indicate that QAC efficacy against mesophilic and coliform bacteria is influenced by the design and type of materials, with the highest efficacy observed on stainless steel surfaces.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Food Protection Trends|
|State||Published - 2014|