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Scholars Day 2005, Wednesday, April 13

Enterobacter sakazakii: The Osmotolerant Hitchhiker

The bacterium Enterobacter sakazakii can be isolated in low levels from various brands of powdered infant formula. In order for this organism to exist in the formula, certain criteria must be met. This organism must be present either within the factory or in the production machinery itself, or be introduced by contaminated workers, and the organism must be able to survive dessication. Resistance to osmotic stress; often down to a staggering water activity of 0.2 (a dry cracker) is what allows E. sakazakii to remain viable over extended periods. Biofilm formations on materials used in production of formula, as well as on feeding equipment, are likely to be a reservoir for product contamination, and as such may contribute to the spread of the organism through improper bottle cleaning techniques and formula preparation.

Presenters: Tracey Householder (Faculty)
Patrick Polito (Undergraduate Student)
Debasmita Roy (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Biological Sciences
Location: 123 Hartwell
Time: 11:05 am (Session II)