Poultry science

Microbiological and physical quality changes in vacuum loader cups associated with the use of various sanitizing compounds.

PMID 20181875


Studies were conducted to determine the effects of various sanitizing compounds on the microbial and physical quality of shell egg processing vacuum loader cups. The sanitizing compounds used were as follows: sterile, distilled water; 200 microL/L of sodium hypochlorite; 200 microL/L of calcium hypochlorite; and 200 microL/L of peracetic acid. In the microbial inoculation study, cups were inoculated with Enterobacter cloacae because it was the most common isolate from a commercial study examining the flora found on vacuum loader cups. In all 3 replicates, aerobic plate counts and Enterobacteriaceae levels were similar for the clean control cups and the cups from the 2 chlorine treatments. Physical quality was measured via serial static compression testing using texture profile analysis. The serial compression mimicked the movement of the vacuum loader cups on the processing line. The strength of the vacuum loader cups was enhanced with exposure to any sanitizer treatment, including distilled water, compared with the controls throughout the 20 applications of the sanitizers. Durometer measurements were not consistent in monitoring vacuum loader cup quality and were determined to not be effective assessments for this application. The use of 200 microL/L of sodium hypochlorite or 200 microL/L of calcium hypochlorite successfully reduced microbial contaminants, had a positive effect on vacuum loader cup physical quality, and should be considered when developing sanitation programs for shell egg processing facilities.