Microbe(s): Total Microbial Count, Total Aerobic Bacteria, Coliforms, Escherichia coli
The effectiveness of electrolyzed oxidizing anode (EOA) water (oxidation-reduction potential, 1,120 mV; pH 2.0) as a sanitizer for use in abattoirs was compared with the iodophor (IOD) Mikroklene (25 ppm), a sanitizer approved for use by regulatory authorities in Canada and the United States. A total of 240 swab (100 cm2) samples were obtained from 4 sites on the kill floor and 16 sites in the secondary processing areas, during two visits within a 4-week period to each of three meat packing plants, processing < or =50 animals per week. Swabs were obtained 12 h after the application of IOD and EOA and were analyzed for the presence of total aerobic bacteria, total coliforms, and total Escherichia coli. Total aerobic bacteria (log CFU/ 100 cm2) recovered from the 20 sample sites were lower (P < 0.0001) in EOA as compared with IOD (2.94 +/- 0.12 versus 3.75 +/- 0.12, respectively). Plant A was 1.5 times more likely (P < 0.0001) to have a sampling site positive for the presence of coliforms and E. coli than plants B and C. There was no difference (P > 0.05) between treatment IOD or EOA in the likelihood of obtaining a positive sample for the presence of total coliforms or E. coli among the three plants. When the kill floor and secondary processing areas are compared, the likelihood of obtaining a sample positive for coliforms or E. coli was similar (P > or = 0.05). Results indicate that EOA was more effective than IOD in reducing populations of total aerobic bacteria on equipment surfaces in the three meat packing plants studied. Because the likelihood of obtaining a positive sample for coliforms or E. coli in EOA as compared with IOD was similar, EOA may be a suitable alternative or complement to IOD as a sanitizer in small- to medium-sized abattoirs. Additional research is required to further evaluate the effectiveness of EOA to sanitize processing equipment on the basis of subsequent isolation of aerobes, coliforms, and E. coli from meat products.