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The survival of Escherichia coli O157 on a range of metal surfaces

The survival of Escherichia coli O157 on a range of metal surfaces
The survival of Escherichia coli O157 on a range of metal surfaces
Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a serious pathogen causing haemorrhagic colitis. It has been responsible for several large-scale outbreaks in recent years. E. coli O157:H7 is able to survive in a range of environments, under various conditions. The risk of infection from contaminated surfaces is recognised, especially due to the low infectious dose required. In this study, a high concentration (107 cells) of E. coli O157 was placed onto different metals and survival time measured. Results showed E. coli O157 to survive for over 28 days at both refrigeration and room temperatures on stainless steel. Copper, in contrast, has strong antibacterial properties (no bacteria can be recovered after only 90 min exposure at 20 °C, increasing to 270 min at 4 °C) but its poor corrosion resistance and durability make it unsuitable for use as a surface material. Other copper-containing alloys, such as copper nickels and copper silvers, have improved durability and anticorrosion properties and greatly reduce bacterial survival times at these two temperatures (after 120 min at 20 °C and 360 min at 4 °C, no E. coli could be detected on a copper nickel with a 73% copper content). Use of a surface material with antibacterial properties could aid in preventing cross-contamination events in food processing and domestic environments, if standard hygiene measures fail.
E. coli, metal alloys, survival, surfaces, cross-contamination
0168-1605
445-454
Wilks, S.A.
86c1f41a-12b3-451c-9245-b1a21775e993
Michels, H.
19792f0f-238b-452a-b65b-36f0be5c2f23
Keevil, C.W.
cb7de0a7-ce33-4cfa-af52-07f99e5650eb
Wilks, S.A.
86c1f41a-12b3-451c-9245-b1a21775e993
Michels, H.
19792f0f-238b-452a-b65b-36f0be5c2f23
Keevil, C.W.
cb7de0a7-ce33-4cfa-af52-07f99e5650eb

Wilks, S.A., Michels, H. and Keevil, C.W. (2005) The survival of Escherichia coli O157 on a range of metal surfaces. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 105 (3), 445-454. (doi:10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2005.04.021).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a serious pathogen causing haemorrhagic colitis. It has been responsible for several large-scale outbreaks in recent years. E. coli O157:H7 is able to survive in a range of environments, under various conditions. The risk of infection from contaminated surfaces is recognised, especially due to the low infectious dose required. In this study, a high concentration (107 cells) of E. coli O157 was placed onto different metals and survival time measured. Results showed E. coli O157 to survive for over 28 days at both refrigeration and room temperatures on stainless steel. Copper, in contrast, has strong antibacterial properties (no bacteria can be recovered after only 90 min exposure at 20 °C, increasing to 270 min at 4 °C) but its poor corrosion resistance and durability make it unsuitable for use as a surface material. Other copper-containing alloys, such as copper nickels and copper silvers, have improved durability and anticorrosion properties and greatly reduce bacterial survival times at these two temperatures (after 120 min at 20 °C and 360 min at 4 °C, no E. coli could be detected on a copper nickel with a 73% copper content). Use of a surface material with antibacterial properties could aid in preventing cross-contamination events in food processing and domestic environments, if standard hygiene measures fail.

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More information

Published date: 1 December 2005
Keywords: E. coli, metal alloys, survival, surfaces, cross-contamination

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 56402
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/56402
ISSN: 0168-1605
PURE UUID: 050c6eb8-8ac2-4326-9be9-8dc2c88841a0
ORCID for S.A. Wilks: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4134-9415
ORCID for C.W. Keevil: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1917-7706

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Aug 2008
Last modified: 20 Jul 2019 01:13

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Contributors

Author: S.A. Wilks ORCID iD
Author: H. Michels
Author: C.W. Keevil ORCID iD

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