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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(1), 804-814; doi:10.3390/ijerph110100804
Article

Evaluation of Three Swabbing Devices for Detection of Listeria monocytogenes on Different Types of Food Contact Surfaces

*  and
Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Food Preservation, Department of Food Safety and Food Quality, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, Ghent 9000, Belgium
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 September 2013 / Revised: 20 December 2013 / Accepted: 23 December 2013 / Published: 8 January 2014
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Abstract

Listeria monocytogenes can adhere to different types of food contact surfaces within a food processing environment. Therefore, environmental sampling devices should be capable of detecting unacceptable contamination. In this study, a sponge-stick, foam spatula and an environmental swab were evaluated on their ability to detect low concentrations of L. monocytogenes on different types of food contact surfaces. A cocktail of four L. monocytogenes serotypes was inoculated with a concentration of 100 CFU/250 cm2 onto stainless steel (SS), high density polyethylene (HDPE) and rubber surfaces in a 250 cm2 area. Immediately after inoculation and after 1 h exposure, the surfaces were swabbed with the different swabbing devices. The results of the study show only minor differences in the ability of the swabbing devices to detect L. monocytogenes. All devices were capable to detect the contamination immediately after inoculation. However, when the surfaces were allowed to air-dry for 1 h, L. monocytogenes was undetected in 11.1% of the samples (n = 27) with the sponge stick, in 7.4% of the samples (n = 27) with the foam spatula and in 3.7% of the samples (n = 27) with the environmental swab, especially on SS surfaces. The detection ability of the different devices for L. monocytogenes can be concluded to be rather high on different types of food contact surfaces.
Keywords: environmental sampling; swabbing devices; Listeria monocytogenes; food processing environment environmental sampling; swabbing devices; Listeria monocytogenes; food processing environment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lahou, E.; Uyttendaele, M. Evaluation of Three Swabbing Devices for Detection of Listeria monocytogenes on Different Types of Food Contact Surfaces. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 804-814.

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