Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Beware of Washing Away the Pathogens and Sending Them to the Food

Research at Kansas State University's Food safety Consortium shows that without proper precautions, washing the floor drains in food processing plants could actually make it easier for any Listeria monocytogenes to travel from the drain to points on the processing line.

When it’s time to wash down the facilities in food processing plants to clear out any pathogenic bacteria, industry needs to watch for one unintended consequence. Washing the floor drains could actually make it easier for any Listeria monocytogenes to travel from the drain to points on the processing line.

Food Safety Consortium researchers at Kansas State University already knew that the open floor drains in processing environments can harbor the bacteria, which is why those drains are the targets of high pressure washing and cleaning. They found out a new angle: that the aerosols generated by the washing can transfer the bacterial cells away from the drain as intended but onto surfaces where food is being processed a few feet above the floor.

The situation can be remedied, but workers need to be trained how to do so, said Jasdeep Saini, a KSU doctoral student in food science who researched the issue with food science professors James Marsden and Daniel Fung. The workers would then modify their cleaning procedures.

“If the worker who is actually doing that knows that this is the point from where the translocation of bacteria is actually occurring and is told to be careful, some change in that respect can be made,” Saini said.

The research team ran tests to find out the potential for translocating L. monocytogenes from drains to food contact surfaces. The researchers placed stainless steel markers at heights of 1, 3 and 5 feet above the drain level. They checked the markers after using a high-pressure hose to wash the drain and took samples after eight hours and again after 48 hours.

The numbers for both the eight-hour and 48-hour tests showed that bacterial cells from the drain were found at all three height levels, the highest number at the 1-foot level closest to the drain. More bacterial cells were present on the contact surfaces after 48 hours than after eight hours, likely because of the longer time available for the cells to proliferate and form a biofilm – thin, resistant layers of microorganisms – as protection against environmental stress.

“Listeria has been known to form bioflilms,” Saini said. “Biofilms develop between 36 and 48 hours. If there are biofilms existing in the drain, how those are actually translocated can cause contamination on the line.”

Dave Edmark | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Physicists made crystal lattice from polaritons

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Thawing permafrost produces more methane than expected

20.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>