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Copper Alloys Surfaces Touted As Pathogen Killers

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Jonathan Noyce, the lead author of the study, said it shows that alloys with 90 per cent or more copper content are proven to have significant disinfection ability at both room and refrigerated temperatures.

"Although stainless steel is easily cleaned, it is not intrinsically effective at reducing bacteria," he said. "It would seem that the food processing and preparation environments would benefit from using materials, like copper, that are inherently antimicrobial."

The study was originally published in the June 2006 issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

The Copper Development Association Inc. and the International Copper Association Ltd funded the study.

Escherichia coli O157 is one of the most serious food-borne pathogens worldwide, causing symptoms ranging from diarrhea to hemorrhagic colitis. Cattle is a major reservoir of E. coli O157, therefore outbreaks are primarily associated with consumption of undercooked ground beef, the researchers stated.

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