New formulation kills bacteria on meat equipment

by Jeff Gelski
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OWINGS MILL, MD. — A former U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist and Sterilex Corp., a privately-owned company based in Owings Mill, have worked together to develop a chemical formulation that may help meat processing plants keep work surfaces free of contamination.

Before retiring, Judy Arnold worked at a poultry microbiological safety research unit in Athens, Ga., run by the U.S.D.A.’s Agricultural Research Service. She tested Sterilex’s proprietary formulation for controlling biofilms that contain Listeria monocytogenes. Biofilms are protective layers of proteins and polysaccharides that surround bacteria and stick to equipment surfaces.

The formulation uses chemical and physical actions to penetrate biofilms, kill microorganisms and remove the biofilms from surfaces. Results showed the formulation killed all the microorganisms and removed 90% of the biofilms.


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