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Evaluation of the Antibacterial Effect of a Triclosan-Containing Floor Used in the Food Industry

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Kjetil Aune

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kjetil.aune@nofima.no

Journal of Food Protection ; Volume 69. p. 627–633. 2006

Møretrø, Trond; Sonerud, Tonje; Mangelrød, Ellen; Langsrud, Solveig

Antibacterial surfaces are increasingly used in the food industry. In the present study, the antibacterial effect of a triclosancontaining industrial floor was assessed. A poultry processing plant, which had a floor that contained triclosan, was visited, and the floor was sampled for bacteria. A high bacterial diversity was found on the floor. Testing showed that bacteria isolated from the floor showed a sensitivity to triclosan that covered a range of MICs from 0.07 to .40 ppm. Staphylococci were the most sensitive, and Pseudomonas fluorescens and Serratia marcescens were the most tolerant. The MICs of triclosan for the strains isolated from the floor were similar to the control strains from the corresponding genera or species of other origin. Thus, the floor seemed not to select for strains that were tolerant to triclosan or that led to the development of resistance to triclosan. Laboratory studies showed that the ability of bacteria to survive under dry conditions on coupons of the floor was similar to that for stainless steel and that the survival of the bacteria on the floor was not linked to their tolerance of triclosan, as determined by the MICs of triclosan. Adherence studies showed that bacteria were able to adhere to coupons of the floor; however, no thick biofilm developed after 3 days of incubation. In an agar plate assay, the floor produced inhibition zones against staphylococci, which are known to be very sensitive to triclosan, whereas no inhibition zones were observed for other bacteria tested. In conclusion, the antibacterial effect of the floor seemed to be very low. Because the concentration of triclosan in the floor was low compared to what has been reported for other triclosan-incorporated surfaces, sufficient amounts of triclosan may not have been available on the surface of the floor to kill the bacteria.