Application of bacteriophages to reduceSalmonellacontamination on workers' boots in rendering-processing environment

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Workers' boots are considered one of the re-contamination routes of Salmonella for rendered meals in the rendering-processing environment. This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of a bacteriophage cocktail for reducing Salmonella on workers' boots and ultimately for preventing Salmonella re-contamination of rendered meals. Under laboratory conditions, biofilms of Salmonella Typhimurium avirulent strain 8243 formed on rubber templates or boots were treated with a bacteriophage cocktail of 6 strains (ca. 9 log PFU/mL) for 6 h at room temperature. Bacteriophage treatments combined with sodium hypochlorite (400 ppm) or 30-second brush scrubbing also were investigated for a synergistic effect on reducing Salmonella biofilms. Sodium magnesium (SM) buffer and sodium hypochlorite (400 ppm) were used as controls. To reduce indigenous Salmonella on workers' boots, a field study was conducted to apply a bacteriophage cocktail and other combined treatments 3 times within one wk in a rendering-processing environment. Prior to and after bacteriophage treatments, Salmonella populations on the soles of rubber boots were swabbed and enumerated on XLT-4, Miller-Mallinson or CHROMagar™ plates. Under laboratory conditions, Salmonella biofilms formed on rubber templates and boots were reduced by 95.1 to 99.999% and 91.5 to 99.2%, respectively. In a rendering-processing environment (ave. temperature: 19.3°C; ave. relative humidity: 48%), indigenous Salmonella populations on workers' boots were reduced by 84.2, 92.9, and 93.2% after being treated with bacteriophages alone, bacteriophages + sodium hypochlorite, and bacteriophages + scrubbing for one wk, respectively. Our results demonstrated the effectiveness of bacteriophage treatments in reducing Salmonella contamination on the boots in both laboratory and the rendering-processing environment.

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