A combination of ultraviolet-light (UV) and hydrogen peroxide (HP) is the best treatment to reduce listeria during brining, according to a study.
The study ‘Control of listeria monocytogenes in recycled chill brine using ultraviolet light and antimicrobial agents’ published in the Journal of Food Safety sought to reduce listeria in recycled chill brine with different UV combinations through a frankfurter process in the US
Recycled brine is used in to process many ready-to-eat foods and has been linked to food contamination with listeria.
Parikh et al. found that a combination of UV and HP was found to be the most effective to reduce listeria during post processing.
“Results show that the combinations of UV and 2000 ppm and 4000 ppm HP were the most effective treatments in reducing the Listeria population with the total processing time of 120 min,” said the study.
“Industry may benefit from our research in their validation efforts to control L. monocytogenes for recycled brine in recirculating chill brine systems through the use of UV light and antimicrobial agents,” it continued.
The UV/HP combination was found to be more effective than UV and HP alone.
A series of other UV combinations were also tested including citric acid and dimethyl dicarbonate but were found to be less effective as the presence of organic matter in spent brine hindered UV penetration.
The researchers hope the finding will reduce outbreaks of the potentially deadly Listeria monocytogenes.
Only last week more than one million hard-boiled eggs in brine from the company Michael Foods were recalled across the US over Listeria contamination fears.
Study: PARIKH, P. P., WILLIAMS, R. C., MALLIKARJUNAN, P., EIFERT, J. D. and MARCY, J. E. (2012), CONTROL OF LISTERIA MONOCYTOGENES IN RECYCLED CHILL BRINE USING ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT AND ANTIMICROBIAL AGENTS. Journal of Food Safety. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-4565.2011.00364.x