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Microbial Ecology Evaluation of an Iberian Pig Processing Plant through Implementing SCH Sensors and the Influence of the Resident Microbiota on Listeria monocytogenes

Hygiene and Food Inspection Unit, Department of Food and Animal Science, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona 08193, Spain
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Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(21), 4611; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9214611
Received: 29 September 2019 / Revised: 25 October 2019 / Accepted: 27 October 2019 / Published: 30 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofilms in Focus: A Threat to Foods)
There is a whole community of microorganisms capable of surviving the cleaning and disinfection processes in the food industry. These persistent microorganisms can enhance or inhibit biofilm formation and the proliferation of foodborne pathogens. Cleaning and disinfection protocols will never reduce the contamination load to 0; however, it is crucial to know which resident species are present and the risk they represent to pathogens, such as Listeria monocytogenes, as they can be further used as a complementary control strategy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the resident surface microbiota in an Iberian pig processing plant after carrying out the cleaning and disinfection processes. To do so, surface sensors were implemented, sampled, and evaluated by culture plate count. Further, isolated microorganisms were identified through biochemical tests. The results show that the surfaces are dominated by Bacillus spp., Pseudomonas spp., different enterobacteria, Mannheimia haemolytica, Rhizobium radiobacter, Staphylococcus spp., Aeromonas spp., lactic acid bacteria, and yeasts and molds. Moreover, their probable relationship with the presence of L. monocytogenes in three areas of the plant is also explained. Further studies of the resident microbiota and their interaction with pathogens such as L. monocytogenes are required. New control strategies that promote the most advantageous profile of microorganisms in the resident microbiota could be a possible alternative for pathogen control in the food industry. To this end, the understanding of the resident microbiota on the surfaces of the food industry and its relation with pathogen presence is crucial. View Full-Text
Keywords: food industry; surface sensors; resident microbiota; microbial ecology; Listeria monocytogenes; ecological interrelations food industry; surface sensors; resident microbiota; microbial ecology; Listeria monocytogenes; ecological interrelations
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Hascoët, A.-S.; Ripolles-Avila, C.; Guerrero-Navarro, A.E.; Rodríguez-Jerez, J.J. Microbial Ecology Evaluation of an Iberian Pig Processing Plant through Implementing SCH Sensors and the Influence of the Resident Microbiota on Listeria monocytogenes. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 4611.

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