Food Contact Sanitizer Testing for Towelettes (Modification of AOAC Method 960.09)

Purpose of Test

A modification of the AOAC Germicidal and Detergent Sanitizing Action of Disinfectants test method is used to evaluate towelettes intended to sanitize food contact surfaces such as: hard non-porous tables, countertops (stainless steel, laminated, sealed ceramic) stove tops, interior and exterior surfaces of microwaves and refrigerators. Such products are typically registered with the U.S. EPA.

Summary of Test

In this method, textured plastic surfaces and non-porous stainless steel or glass surfaces are inoculated with a representative test organism. The inoculated surfaces are dried and are treated with the towelette. Following a 30 second exposure, the surfaces are neutralized and are quantitatively assayed for survivors. The resulting plates are incubated, the number of survivors is enumerated and a percent and log10 reduction is determined as compared to a population control. In order to successfully demonstrate sanitizing efficacy, the product must demonstrate a 99.999% (or 5 log10) reduction. Typical test organisms include Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Additional food-borne pathogens of interest are often tested as well.