Get access

ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT (254 NM) INACTIVATION OF PATHOGENS ON FOODS AND STAINLESS STEEL SURFACES

Authors

  • CHRISTOPHER H. SOMMERS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Food Safety Intervention Technologies Research Unit
      Eastern Regional Research Center
      Agricultural Research Service
      U.S. Department of Agriculture
      600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038
    Search for more papers by this author
  • JOSEPH E. SITES,

    1. Food Safety Intervention Technologies Research Unit
      Eastern Regional Research Center
      Agricultural Research Service
      U.S. Department of Agriculture
      600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038
    Search for more papers by this author
  • MICHAEL MUSGROVE

    1. Egg Safety and Quality Research Unit
      Richard B. Russell Agricultural Research Service
      Athens, GA
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

TEL: 215-836-3754; FAX: 215-233-6445; EMAIL: christopher.sommers@ars.usda.gov

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Ultraviolet Light (254 nm) is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved nonthermal intervention technology that can be used for decontamination of food surfaces. In this study, the use of ultraviolet light (UV-C) at doses of 0.5–4.0 J/cm2 to inactivate a cocktail of Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus that were surface-inoculated on frankfurters, bratwurst, shell eggs, chicken drumsticks, boneless skinless chicken breasts, boneless pork chops, tomatoes and jalapeno peppers was investigated. The pathogens displayed similar sensitivities to UV-C on individual food products. Pathogen reductions ranged from approximately 0.5 log/g on raw meat and poultry to almost 4 log/g on tomatoes, while the pathogens were not recovered from stainless steel at a UV-C dose of 0.4 J/cm2. Use of UV-C light should be given serious consideration as a technology for routine surface decontamination of food contact surfaces and appropriate food products.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

Ultraviolet light (UV-C) is an U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved intervention technology that can be used to inactivate pathogenic bacteria in liquid foods and water, food contact surfaces, and food surfaces. This work indicates than UV-C would be an effective technology for inactivation of foodborne pathogens on the surfaces of frankfurters and sausages immediately prior to packaging, shell eggs immediately prior to cracking in the production of liquid egg products, and smooth skinned produce such as tomatoes and jalapeno peppers prior to further processing. This work provides pathogen inactivation kinetics for food processors and government regulatory agencies.

Ancillary