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The deadly guest who wouldn’t leave

Chris Brunner, January 31, 2014

Woman cleaning kitchen counter

Woman cleaning kitchen counter

Researchers at National University of Ireland, Galway have discovered that once a community of Salmonella cells has been given the opportunity to become established on a surface, the number of cells will increase over time and you’ll be hard pressed to eliminate or kill all the cells of a mature biofilm.

The researchers allowed Salmonella enterica cells to grow for seven days and then applied three different types of disinfectant.  None of the disinfectants were able to kill the cells after that amount of time.

Mary Corcoran, one of the authors of the study published in the journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology says, “In terms of ‘real world’ environments, it is estimated that most organisms are capable of this, and that a high percentage of micro-organisms will form a biofilm to optimize growth and survival.”

To help avoid the issue of resistance Corcoran recommends appropriate and frequent cleaning to prevent the buildup of bacteria on surfaces and “improving handling practices such as ensuring raw food is prepared in a separate area from cooked food.”

Read more about the study of biofilms and its resistance to disinfectants at Salmonella Biofilms Extremely Resistant to Disinfectants.

For a quick review on what you can do to protect yourself and your family from food poisoning follow these cleaning and washing tips from the CDC.