Other Experimental Antimicrobial Washing Agents

Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) is being marketed as Cecure® for use in oral hygiene products and may have application as an antimicrobial rinse for fresh produce and other foods. Yang et al. [103] reported population reductions in the range 1 to 2 logs for S. Typhimurium and E. coli O157:H7 on inoculated fresh-cut lettuce, treated by spraying with 0.3% CPC. Similar reductions were obtained with strawberries inoculated with E. coli O157:H7 or S. Montevideo and immersed in 0.1% CPC at 43°C [38]. However, regulatory approval for this agent has not yet been obtained (www.safefoods.net/cecure.htm). Activated lactoferrin, which prevents attachment of bacteria to meat, is approved by the FDA and USDA for application to beef as a carcass rinse [104] (also see www.activinlf.com). However, there are no reports of its applicability to fruits and vegetables. Silver and copper ions are known to exert antimicrobial activity against bacteria in water [105], and ion generators have been marketed for disinfection of water in swimming pools, irrigation systems, and various other commercial applications (Tew Manufacturing Corp., 800380-5839; T.P. Technology plc, www.tarn-pure.com). Application of this technology to produce packing lines and dump tanks at recommended levels of 0.50 ppm copper and 0.035 to 0.05 ppm silver has been proposed (Tew Manufacturing Corp.), but published efficacy data are lacking, and the regulatory status of such applications is unclear.

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