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Impact of a disinfecting wipe on bacterial contamination in households Impact of disinfecting wipes on bacteria

CHARLES P. GERBA, SHERI MAXWELL, LAURA Y. SIFUENTES* AND AKRUM H. TAMIMI
*Corresponding author
Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, The University of Arizona, Building 38, Room 429, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA

Abstract

Household cleaning tools, such as sponges and cleaning clothes, can serve as both reservoirs and disseminators of disease causing microorganisms in the households. This study examined the use of disposable disinfecting wipes containing a quaternary ammonium compound on the reduction of heterotrophic and coliform bacteria on selected sites in household kitchens and bathrooms over a period of several weeks. The wipes were found to result in a statistically significant reduction (p<0.002) of heterotrophic bacteria on all surfaces tested and for most surfaces for coliform bacteria. Disinfecting wipes offer another simple approach to control of bacterial cross contamination in the home.


INTRODUCTION

Infection control in the home in both developed and developing countries has been an area of increased interest over the last two decades (1, 2). This is especially true in the kitchen area as it is believed that most foodborne illness originates in the home (3). In the United States it is estimated that 47 million cases of foodborne illness occur annually (4, 5), with the leading identified causes being Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter. Several studies have shown that household cleaning tools such as sponges and dishcloths can serve as reservoirs and disseminators of enteric pathogenic bacteria in the home (6, 7, 8, 9). Enteric bacteria rapidly grow in sponges and cleaning cloths and are transferred to the hands and surfaces when used for cleaning. They remain moist and accumulate organic materials which bacteria can use for growth. Enriquez et al. (7) studied 140 cellulose sponges and 56 cotton cloths collected from kitchens in the United States from households in four cities and found ~15% contained Salmonella spp. bacteria. Medrano-Felix et al. (10) in a study of 30 Mexican homes over six weeks reported the isolation of Salmonella spp. ...




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