The applied use of commercial UV units in cold storage rooms of local supermarkets

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Dawson, Joyce V.
Nash, Peter
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Thesis (M.S.)--Ball State University.
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the applied use of a commercial UV unit for air sanitation in the cold storage rooms of a local supermarket chain. On-site testing was performed in four supermarkets (two control stores without UV units and two experimental stores) and one warehouse employing UV units. Meat processing, meat storage, and produce storage rooms were randomly sampled by the open plate and swab methods. Commonly occurring "representative microorganisms" were then selected and identified as Pseudomonas sp., Flavobacterium sp., Bacillus sp., Rhodotorula sp., and Penicillium sp. which were taken into the laboratory for UV testing. Representative microorganisms were effectively killed by UV when tested in the laboratory. Exposure to UV was conducted on agar streaked plates and aerosol suspensions of the microorganisms. The effectiveness of the commercial UV unit in the applied setting was less easily determined due to a complexity of changing variables between rooms and between stores. In general, the UV unit appeared to be of noticeable benefit where airborne yeasts and molds were predominant. This occurred in produce rooms. Regular maintenance of the UV unit was necessary for maximum efficiency. The meat processing room presented unique problems relating to procedural habits of the personnel. In all supermarket cold rooms, good "housecleaning" remained the key to controlling microorganisms.Ball State UniversityMuncie, IN 47306