Assessment of Salmonella spp. Attachment to Reusable Plastic Containers Based on Scanning Electron Microscopy and BAX® PCR

John Clayborn, Jacquelyn Adams, Christopher A. Baker, Steven C. Ricke


Reusable Plastic Containers (RPC) coupons were used to determine the ability of Salmonella spp. to adhere and form potential biofilms on commercial RPCs. Attachment of Salmonella serovars Kentucky, Newport, Enteriditis, Heidelberg, and Typhimurium was evaluated. The RPC coupons served as a platform for generating biofilms of these microorganisms. Following biofilm formation on the RPC coupons, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was performed to examine the coupons for bacterial presence. Additionally, the RPC coupons were subjected to a bacterial biofilm growth process and were subsequently sanitized using methods and sanitizing agents that are commonplace in commercial and industrial settings. Lastly, the RPC coupons were exposed to a bacterial biofilm growth process and swabbed using methods that closely mimic scrubbing actions performed during sanitation processes typically used in commercial and industrial settings. In all cases based on SEM assessment, bacteria not only attached to the RPC, but also could not be dislodged by the sanitizers or physical scrubbing that was applied.


Salmonella, reusable plastic containers, attachment, scanning electron microscopy

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Journal of Food Research   ISSN 1927-0887 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0895 (Online)  E-mail:

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