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Pulsed-plasma gas-discharge inactivation of microbial pathogens in chilled poultry wash water

Rowan, N. and Espie, S. and Harrower, J.A. and Anderson, J.G. and Marsili, L. and MacGregor, S.J. (2007) Pulsed-plasma gas-discharge inactivation of microbial pathogens in chilled poultry wash water. Journal of Food Protection, 70 (12). pp. 2805-2810. ISSN 0362-028X

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A pulsed-plasma gas-discharge (PPGD) system was developed for the novel decontamination of chilled poultry wash water. Treatment of poultry wash water in the plasma generation chamber for up to 24 s at 4°C reduced Escherichia coli NCTC 9001, Campylobacter jejuni ATCC 33560, Campylobacter coli ATCC 33559, Listeria monocytogenes NCTC 9863, Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis ATCC 4931, and S. enterica serovar Typhimurium ATCC 14028 populations to nondetectable levels (≤8 log CFU/ml). Although similar PPGD treatments at 4°C also produced significant reductions (≥3 log CFU/ml) in recalcitrant B. cereus NCTC 11145 endospore numbers within 30 s, the level of endospore reduction was dependent on the nature of the sparged gas used in the plasma treatments. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that significant damage occurred at the cellular level in PPGD-treated test organisms. This electrotechnology delivers energy in intense ultrashort bursts, generating products such as ozone, UV light, acoustic and shock waves, and pulsed electric fields that have multiple bactericidal properties. This technology offers an exciting complementary or alternative approach for treating raw poultry wash water and for preventing cross-contamination in processing environments.