Survival and transfer of microorganisms from kitchen sponges to surfaces of stainless steel and polyethylene
Keywords:kitchen sponges, microbiological contamination, survival on stainless steel and polyethylene
Introduction: Contaminated sponges might lead to cross-contamination in kitchens since they can transfer microorganisms to surfaces where microorganisms can survive for hours or days and contaminate food. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the transfer and the survival of bacteria from kitchen sponges to surfaces of AISI 316 stainless steel and polyethylene.
Methodology: Twenty-four sponges were collected from industrial kitchens in the state of Rio Grande do Sul and aseptically split into two equal parts. One part was subjected to enumeration of heterotrophic microorganisms, faecal coliforms, coagulase-positive Staphylococcus and search detection of Salmonella enterica. The other part was rubbed on surfaces of AISI 316 stainless steel (12 sponges) or polyethylene (12 sponges). The transfer and survival of microorganisms was quantified by swab collection and pour-plate method using plate count agar.
Results: All sponges were contaminated by heterotrophic microorganisms (average of 6.8 log CFU/sponge) and 83.3% with faecal coliforms (average of 5 log CFU/sponge). None of the sponges were contaminated by S. enterica and/or coagulase-positive Staphylococcus. The average transfer of microorganisms varied between 3.3 and 5.5 log CFU/cm2 for stainless steel and from 3.5 to 5.6 log CFU/cm2 for polyethylene. Although the survival rate decreased over time, more than 1 log CFU/cm2 of heterotrophic microorganisms survived after 24 hours on both surfaces.
Conclusions: The sponges used in food services were significantly contaminated and could transfer large amounts of microorganisms to surfaces of AISI 316 stainless steel and polyethylene.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).