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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PATHOGEN MITIGATION IN LIVESTOCK AND RED MEAT PRODUCTION

Location: Meat Safety & Quality Research

Title: Effects of in-plant interventions on reduction of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli and background indicator microorganisms on veal calf hides

Authors
item Wang, Rong
item Koohmaraie, Mohammad -
item Wheeler, Tommy
item Bosilevac, Joseph

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 9, 2013
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Pathogenic E. coli in veal have recently been recognized as a problem. Since hides are considered to be the principal source of carcass contamination and hide interventions have been shown to be very efficacious in the control of E. coli in beef processing plants, hide-directed interventions have been implemented in several veal processing plants to mitigate contamination. We evaluated the effectiveness of three different hide interventions employed at veal processing plants: A) manual curry comb of hide to loosen visible contamination followed by a water rinse; B) application of 200 ppm chlorine followed by hot-water rinse; C) a 5-minute treatment with chlorine foam then rinsed with 180-200 ppm acidified sodium chlorite. The results indicate that the most effective veal hide intervention was the application of 200 ppm chlorine followed by hot-water rinse. These results provide options that veal processors can consider in their pathogen control program.

Technical Abstract: Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) serotypes in veal have recently been recognized as a problem. Since hides are considered to be the principal source of EHEC and hide interventions has been shown to be very efficacious in the control of EHEC in beef processing plants, hide-directed interventions have been implemented in several veal processing plants to mitigate contamination. We evaluated the effectiveness of three different hide interventions employed at veal processing plants: A) a water rinse followed by manual curry comb of hide; B) application of 200 ppm chlorine followed by hot-water rinse; C) a 5-minute treatment with chlorine foam followed by 180-200 ppm acidified sodium chlorite rinse. The levels of total aerobic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, coliforms, and E. coli as well as the prevalence of Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7 and non-O157 EHEC were determined on hides pre- and post-intervention. The three interventions, A, B and C, reduced indicator organisms (P < 0.05) by 0.8 to 3.5 log CFU, 2.1 to 2.7 log CFU and 1.0 to 1.5 log CFU, respectively. No Salmonella was detected on hides prior to intervention. E. coli O157:H7 prevalence was observed at only one plant so comparison was not possible. Prevalence of non-O157 EHECs (O26, O103 and O111) was observed for all interventions studied. Interventions A and B reduced culture confirmed non-O157 EHEC by 29% and 21% respectively, whereas intervention C did not reduce non-O157 EHEC. Our results show that the most effective veal hide intervention for reducing indicator organisms and EHECs was the application of 200 ppm chlorine followed by hot-water rinse. These data provide options that veal processors can consider in their EHEC control program.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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