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Control of Relative Air Humidity as a Potential Means to Improve Hygiene on Surfaces: A Preliminary Approach with Listeria monocytogenes.

By Fiona Zoz, Cyril Iaconelli, Emilie Lang, Hayet Iddir, Stéphane Guyot, Cosette Grandvalet, Patrick Gervais and Laurent Beney


Relative air humidity fluctuations could potentially affect the development and persistence of pathogenic microorganisms in their environments. This study aimed to characterize the impact of relative air humidity (RH) variations on the survival of Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium persisting on food processing plant surfaces. To assess conditions leading to the lowest survival rate, four strains of L. monocytogenes (EGDe, CCL500, CCL128, and LO28) were exposed to different RH conditions (75%, 68%, 43% and 11%) with different drying kinetics and then rehydrated either progressively or instantaneously. The main factors that affected the survival of L. monocytogenes were RH level and rehydration kinetics. Lowest survival rates between 1% and 0.001% were obtained after 3 hours of treatment under optimal conditions (68% RH and instantaneous rehydration). The survival rate was decreased under 0.001% after prolonged exposure (16h) of cells under optimal conditions. Application of two successive dehydration and rehydration cycles led to an additional decrease in survival rate. This preliminary study, performed in model conditions with L. monocytogenes, showed that controlled ambient RH fluctuations could offer new possibilities to control foodborne pathogens in food processing environments and improve food safety

Topics: Medicine, R, Science, Q
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
DOI identifier: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148418
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:6d27604aaa774474a81fe5254195d9d0
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