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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Scientific Publications by FDA Staff

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J Food Safety 1994 May;14(2):153-72

Bacterial Adherence and Viability on Cutting Board Surfaces

Abrishami SH, Tall BD, Bruursema TJ, Epstein PS, Shah DB


The adherence and viability of Escherichia coli inoculated onto the surfaces of plastic cutting boards and new and used wood cutting boards were evaluated. Most of the inoculum was recovered from all surfaces after resident drying times of 5 min and from plastic surfaces at 24 h. When the exposure time was extended to 2 h, > 90% of the cells placed on new and used dry wood surfaces were not recovered after vigorous rinsing. Scanning electron microscopy showed that the bacteria resided within the structural xylem fibers and vegetative elements of the wood. After resident drying times of up to 2 h, almost 75% of the adherent bacteria on the wood surfaces were viable, as defined by a nalidixic acid direct viable count procedure. Microcosm studies showed no intrinsic growth-supporting or toxic properties of the cutting board materials. Bacteria that adhered to plastic surfaces were more easily removed by low-temperature washing than were cells that adhered to wood surfaces. These studies demonstrated that bacteria adhering to wood surfaces resided within the structural and vegetative elements of the wood's xylem tissues and were viable; wood was more retentive than plastic; penetration of the inoculum liquid promoted cell adherence to the wood matrix; and conditioning of wood with water before inoculation interfered with bacterial adherence.

Category: Journal Article
DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-4565.1994.tb00591.x
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Food
Entry Created: 2012-11-14