Microbiological Contamination and Disinfection Procedures of Kitchen Sponges used in Food Services


Kitchen sponges continue to be heavily used in Brazilian food services, even though they may be very contaminated. The objective of this study was to evaluate the microbiological contamination and the efficacy of two procedures for the disinfection of kitchen sponges used in Brazilian food services. Eighty sponges were collected from food services and then analyzed for the quantification heterotrophic microorganisms (HM), fecal coliforms (CF), Staphylococcus coagulase-positive (SA) microorganisms and to the investigation of the presence of Salmonella sp. (SAM). After that, the sponges were disinfected, separately, by either boiling water for five minutes or immersed in 200ppm sodium hypochlorite, for 10 minutes, added to a rinse with potable water. The results showed that sponges presented HM counts between 3.4 and 10.4 log CFU/sponge, with an average of 9.1 log CFU/sponge, and 76.25% of them presented CF with average counts of 8.4 log CFU/sponge. SA and SAM were found in 2.5% of samples. Both disinfection procedures were able to significantly reduce the bacterial counts, but the boiling method showed a greater reduction (99.9999%) than the method of disinfection by 200 ppm sodium hypochlorite (99.9%). Based on the results it was possible to conclude that kitchen sponges can be very contaminated, but simple disinfection procedure can be applied to significantly reduce the microbial contamination.

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E. Rossi, D. Scapin, W. Grando and E. Tondo, "Microbiological Contamination and Disinfection Procedures of Kitchen Sponges used in Food Services," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 7, 2012, pp. 975-980. doi: 10.4236/fns.2012.37129.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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