Inactivation by hypochlorite of Listeria monocytogenes cells adherent to stainless steel was determined. Adherent cell populations were prepared by incubating stainless steel slides with a 24 h culture of L. monocytogenes for 4 h at 21°C. Adherent microcolonies were prepared by growing L. monocytogenes on stainless steel slides submerged in a 1:15 dilution of tryptic soy broth at 21°C. The slides were then rinsed and transferred to fresh sterile broth every 2 d with a total incubation time of 8 d. Although the 4 h and 8 d adherent populations were at similar levels, 8 d adherent cells were over 100 times more resistant than the 4 h adherent cell population when exposed to 200 ppm hypochlorite for 30 s. When stainless steel slides containing adherent cells were heated at 72°C both adherent cell populations were inactivated after 1 min. Detectable numbers of L. monocytogenes remained on stainless steel slides after treatment at 65°C for 3 min when adherent 8 d cells were tested but not when adherent 4 h cells were used.

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Author notes

1Dept. of Food Science and Technology, Hyosung Women's University, Kyeongbuk, Korea