Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Surface contamination of beef carcasses by bacteria from the hide or digestive tract of the animal is an undesirable but unavoidable result of processing. To reduce or eliminate microbial contamination, some beef processing plants wash carcasses with water or a decontaminating agent. Two commercially available decontaminating agents that effectively kill bacteria in water or on surfaces were examined for reducing fecal contamination on beef. In this study, beef tissue was experimentally covered with feces, spray washed with water or various concentrations of Carnatrol(TM) or Timsen(TM). The results showed that spray washes with Carnatrol(TM) or Timsen(TM) did not remove fecal contamination any better than washing with water. While Carnatrol(TM) and Timsen(TM) may be effective decontaminants of water or food contact surfaces, spray washing with either compound did not effectively reduce fecal contamination on beef.
Technical Abstract: The spray application of two commercial decontaminating agents for reducing bacterial populations associated with fecal contamination on beef was examined in two separate experiments. Individual pieces of pre-rigor lean beef tissue were inoculated with fresh bovine feces and subjected to a 15 s spray wash with water or various concentrations of Carnatrol(TM) or Timsen(TM) and stored under refrigerated conditions. When Carnatrol(TM) was applied to beef tissue at 20, 40, and 80 ppm, bacterial populations were not statistically different (P >/= 0.05) than water-treated populations at days 0, 1, and 2. When Carnatrol(TM) was applied to tissues at 160 ppm, bacterial populations were statistically different (P </= 0.05) from water-treated tissue on all of the days examined; however, reductions were not greater than 0.58, 0.42, and 0.35 log10 CFU/cm**2 at days 0, 1, and 2, respectively. Spray applications of Timsen(TM) to tissues at 200, 400, and 800 ppm were not statistically different than water-treated tissues at days 0, 1, 2, or 3. Reductions associated with Timsen(TM) were no greater than 0.40 log10 CFU/cm**2 on any of the days examined. This study demonstrates that under conditions used in this study, spray washes with either of the two commercially available decontaminating agents were no more effective than water washes for reducing bacterial populations associated with fecal contamination on beef tissue.