Submitted to: Letters in Applied Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 21, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The effectiveness of a steam-vacuum sanitizing system (Vac-San, Kentmaster, Mfg., Monrovia, CA) for reducing bacterial populations as well as Escherichia coli O157:H7 from bovine fecal contamination was determined. The system was capable of reducing bacterial populations by an average of 99.9% on beef carcass short plate surfaces. The same beef carcass short plates contaminated with feces containing high levels of Escherichia coli O157:H7 experienced an average reduction of 99.999% after steam-vacuum treatments. This study demonstrates that a steam-vacuum sanitizer is very effective for removing E. coli O157:H7 from beef carcasses and would increase the microbial safety of beef carcasses. This system could be used by a processor to reduce the amount of trimming required for the removal of contamination from beef carcasses.
Technical Abstract: A steam-vacuum sanitizer reduced aerobic plate counts associated with bovine fecal contamination from 5.5 log**10 CFU/cm**2, to 3.0 +/- 0.21 log**10 CFU/cm**2 on beef carcass short plates. The same beef carcass short plates inoculated with 7.6 +/- 0.09 log**10 CFU/cm**2 Escherichia coli O157:H7 in feces yielded an average residual level of E. coli O157:H7 of 2.1 +/- 0.21 log**10 CFU/cm**2, after steam-vacuum treatments. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of a steam- vacuum sanitizer for removing E. coli O157:H7 from beef carcasses.