Harold T. Michels
Copper Development Association Inc.
Sandra A. Wilks, and C. William
Keevil University of Southampton Environmental Healthcare Unit School of Biological Sciences
HYGENIC COATINGS & SURFACES
26-28 January, 2004
Published by: The Paint Research Association 8 Waldegrave Road, Teddington, TW11 8LD, UK
E. coli O157:H7 has been associated with several large-scale food recalls by processors in the United States. This bacterium was found to be nonviable in a few hours when placed on copper surfaces, but survived for many days on stainless steel. The copper alloys tested included coppers, brasses, bronzes, copper-nickels and nickel silvers. The results confirm that the antibacterial effect is present in all the tested copper alloys, and increases with the copper content of the alloy. Furthermore, as expected, this action was faster at the higher temperature. The bacteria were found to be nonviable on almost all of the copper alloy surfaces in the range of one to six hours at 20°C. It took longer, with a minimum time of three hours, at 4°C. This anti-microbial attributes of copper alloys should be useful beyond food processing applications