Dissemination of Cronobacter spp. (Enterobacter sakazakii) in a Powdered Milk Protein Manufacturing Facility

Applied and Environmental Microbiology, October 2008, p. 5913-5917, Vol. 74, No. 19

N. Mullane, B. Healy, J. Meade, P. Whyte, P. G. Wall, and S. Fanning

The microbial contamination of air filters and possible links to contaminated product in a powdered milk protein-processing facility were investigated. Over a 10-month period, seven air filters, the environment, and powdered product were analyzed for the presence of Cronobacter spp. The effects of air filter installation, maintenance, and subsequent dissemination of Cronobacter were investigated. A total of 30 isolates were characterized by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). PFGE revealed the presence of three clonal populations distributed throughout the manufacturing site. This study highlights the need for proper installation of air filters to limit the dissemination of microorganisms into processing sites

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