The efficacy of electrolyzed water for cleaning and sanitizing rubber picker fingers soiled with chicken fat and Salmonella Typhimurium
Burkeen, Vedas K.
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Rubber picker fingers used to remove feathers from broiler carcasses have been considered potential cross-contamination sites during poultry processing. The effects of alkaline electrolyzed (EO) water and other cleaners on chicken fat removal from rubber picker fingers over elapsed time (0,1,4, 8, and 24 hr) and repeated daily soiling and cleaning cycles (1-4 days) were examined. In addition, the effects of fat absorption on attachment and inactivation of Salmonella Typhimurium by various sanitizers, including acidic EO water, on soiled rubber fingers were investigated. In the first study, results suggested alkaline EO water can effectively remove chicken fat from fingers. However, when using a different type of rendered fat, results suggested that cleaning every 4 hours with a commonly used chlorinated-alkaline cleaner (50% solution) can effectively remove fat from fingers. This may be due to the chlorinated-alkaline cleaner higher pH (13.5) and the usage of a higher concentration which resulted in better fat removal when compared to alkaline EO waters lower pH (pH 11.6) and dilute sodium hydroxide concentration. Results also suggested that fat does not play a significant role on the attachment of S. Typhimurium to rubber fingers. However, the presence of cracks and crevices along with rubber degradation of used fingers collected from a local poultry plant can affect the cleanability and sanitation of soiled fingers when compared to new ones. When comparing bacterial inactivation by various sanitizers, heated acidic EO was the most effective sanitizing solution by reducing S. Typhimurium to non-detectable levels on unsoiled used fingers. Overall, the presence of fat on the rubber fingers decreased the efficiency of all sanitizing agents examined. The chlorinated-alkaline cleaner and 10% sodium hypochlorite combination (cleaning followed by sanitizing) was the most effective treatment for soiled fingers and achieved 4.88 log CFU per rubber piece reductions of S. Typhimurium.