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Evaluation of two surface sampling methods for microbiological and chemical analyses to assess the presence of biofilms in food companies

(2017) JOURNAL OF FOOD PROTECTION. 80(12). p.2022-2028
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Abstract
Biofilms are an important source of contamination in food companies, yet the composition of biofilms in practice is still mostly unknown. The chemical and microbiological characterization of surface samples taken after cleaning and disinfection is very important to distinguish free-living bacteria from the attached bacteria in biofilms. In this study, sampling methods that are potentially useful for both chemical and microbiological analyses of surface samples were evaluated. In the manufacturing facilities of eight Belgian food companies, surfaces were sampled after cleaning and disinfection using two sampling methods: the scraper–flocked swab method and the sponge stick method. Microbiological and chemical analyses were performed on these samples to evaluate the suitability of the sampling methods for the quantification of extracellular polymeric substance components and microorganisms originating from biofilms in these facilities. The scraper–flocked swab method was most suitable for chemical analyses of the samples because the material in these swabs did not interfere with determination of the chemical components. For microbiological enumerations, the sponge stick method was slightly but not significantly more effective than the scraper–flocked swab method. In all but one of the facilities, at least 20% of the sampled surfaces had more than 102 CFU/100 cm2. Proteins were found in 20% of the chemically analyzed surface samples, and carbohydrates and uronic acids were found in 15 and 8% of the samples, respectively. When chemical and microbiological results were combined, 17% of the sampled surfaces were contaminated with both microorganisms and at least one of the analyzed chemical components; thus, these surfaces were characterized as carrying biofilm. Overall, microbiological contamination in the food industry is highly variable by food sector and even within a facility at various sampling points and sampling times.
Keywords
Biofilm composition, Biofilm sampling, Extracellular polymeric substances, Food industry, Microorganisms, LISTERIA-MONOCYTOGENES, CONTACT SURFACES, PROCESSING ENVIRONMENTS, SALMONELLA, CONTAMINATION, QUANTITIES, RESISTANCE, PLANTS

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Maes, Sharon, Son Nguyen, Marc Heyndrickx, Stephanie Van Weyenberg, Hans Steenackers, Alex Verplaetse, Thijs Vackier, Imca Sampers, Katleen Raes, and Koen De Reu. 2017. “Evaluation of Two Surface Sampling Methods for Microbiological and Chemical Analyses to Assess the Presence of Biofilms in Food Companies.” Journal of Food Protection 80 (12): 2022–2028.
APA
Maes, Sharon, Nguyen, S., Heyndrickx, M., Van Weyenberg, S., Steenackers, H., Verplaetse, A., Vackier, T., et al. (2017). Evaluation of two surface sampling methods for microbiological and chemical analyses to assess the presence of biofilms in food companies. JOURNAL OF FOOD PROTECTION, 80(12), 2022–2028.
Vancouver
1.
Maes S, Nguyen S, Heyndrickx M, Van Weyenberg S, Steenackers H, Verplaetse A, et al. Evaluation of two surface sampling methods for microbiological and chemical analyses to assess the presence of biofilms in food companies. JOURNAL OF FOOD PROTECTION. 2017;80(12):2022–8.
MLA
Maes, Sharon, Son Nguyen, Marc Heyndrickx, et al. “Evaluation of Two Surface Sampling Methods for Microbiological and Chemical Analyses to Assess the Presence of Biofilms in Food Companies.” JOURNAL OF FOOD PROTECTION 80.12 (2017): 2022–2028. Print.
@article{8538770,
  abstract     = {Biofilms are an important source of contamination in food companies, yet the composition of biofilms in practice is still mostly unknown. The chemical and microbiological characterization of surface samples taken after cleaning and disinfection is very important to distinguish free-living bacteria from the attached bacteria in biofilms. In this study, sampling methods that are potentially useful for both chemical and microbiological analyses of surface samples were evaluated. In the manufacturing facilities of eight Belgian food companies, surfaces were sampled after cleaning and disinfection using two sampling methods: the scraper--flocked swab method and the sponge stick method. Microbiological and chemical analyses were performed on these samples to evaluate the suitability of the sampling methods for the quantification of extracellular polymeric substance components and microorganisms originating from biofilms in these facilities. The scraper--flocked swab method was most suitable for chemical analyses of the samples because the material in these swabs did not interfere with determination of the chemical components. For microbiological enumerations, the sponge stick method was slightly but not significantly more effective than the scraper--flocked swab method. In all but one of the facilities, at least 20\% of the sampled surfaces had more than 102 CFU/100 cm2. Proteins were found in 20\% of the chemically analyzed surface samples, and carbohydrates and uronic acids were found in 15 and 8\% of the samples, respectively. When chemical and microbiological results were combined, 17\% of the sampled surfaces were contaminated with both microorganisms and at least one of the analyzed chemical components; thus, these surfaces were characterized as carrying biofilm. Overall, microbiological contamination in the food industry is highly variable by food sector and even within a facility at various sampling points and sampling times.},
  author       = {Maes, Sharon and Nguyen, Son and Heyndrickx, Marc and Van Weyenberg, Stephanie and Steenackers, Hans and Verplaetse, Alex and Vackier, Thijs and Sampers, Imca and Raes, Katleen and De Reu, Koen},
  issn         = {0362-028X},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF FOOD PROTECTION},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {12},
  pages        = {2022--2028},
  title        = {Evaluation of two surface sampling methods for microbiological and chemical analyses to assess the presence of biofilms in food companies},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028x.jfp-17-210},
  volume       = {80},
  year         = {2017},
}

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