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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Meat Safety & Quality Research

Title: Minimal heat treatments reduce Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC)and Salmonella on surface of fresh beef

item Kalchayanand, Norasak
item Wang, Rong
item Wheeler, Tommy

Submitted to: Annual Meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 13, 2014
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Washing and sanitizing agents have been effective in reducing bacterial populations and pathogen presence on carcasses. Thermal interventions consistently provide the greatest pathogen reductions and can be applied during slaughter in a number of different forms, either as a whole carcass wash, or to specific areas of carcasses. However, it is expensive to maintain high water or steam temperatures. In this study, the abilities of minimal heat treatments to decontaminate Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) including non-O157 STEC and Salmonella were investigated. Freshly slaughtered beef tissues were first inoculated with a cocktail mixture of these pathogens to a final concentration of approximately 3.0 x 104 CFU/cm2 and then subjected to either steam or hot water treatment at 160oF for 6 s. Tissue samples were obtained before and after thermal treatments and enumerated to determine survivors. Minimal steam treatment significantly reduced (P < 0.05) the populations of STEC, Salmonella, Enterobateriaceae, generic E. coli, coliforms, and aerobic bacteria ranging between 1.07 and 3.06 log reductions. Similarly, minimal hot water spray-washing significantly reduced (P < 0.05) the populations of these organisms ranging between 1.05 and 2.48 log reductions. These findings indicate that both minimal steam and hot water spray treatments could serve as an effective carcass intervention to improve the safety of fresh beef at lower cost than for temperatures typically used.

Last Modified: 11/29/2015
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