The efficacy of the buffered sodium hypochlorite solution, Bionox, in controlling bacterial contamination was evaluated on fresh-cut poultry (chicken, light and dark meat), fish fillets, fruit, and vegetables. Food products were immersed in a nutrient broth suspension of Salmonella enteritidis (ATCC #13067) for 30 s and allowed to drip/air dry for 10 s prior to exposure to the sanitizing agent. Food products were then each vigorously washed with 100 ml of buffered peptone which was plated in serial dilution on XLD-N agar and incubated at 37°C for 24 h. Typical Salmonella colonies as well as non-Salmonella colonies growing on the XLD-N plates were counted and identified. Results showed the sanitizing solution to be effective in reducing S. enteritidis on all test foodstuffs. Count reductions of 4, 3, and 2 logs per gram on chicken, vegetables, and fruit, respectively, were achieved. Salmonella reductions of two logs were also achieved on fish fillets, but the sanitizer performance depended to some extent on the background bacterial flora present prior to the addition of the Salmonella test organism. The effect of the sanitizing solution on protein functionality, lipid oxidation, and starch degradation was determined using protein dispersibility and solubility assays, peroxide and iodine values, and changes in reducing sugars levels, respectively. Results showed no adverse effects on these parameters after exposure of the food products to the sanitizing solution.
*Agricultural Experiment Station Journal article no. 7294