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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Meat Safety and Quality » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #212134

Title: Evaluation of various antimicrobial interventions for the reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 on bovine heads during processing

item Kalchayanand, Norasak - Nor
item Arthur, Terrance
item Bosilevac, Joseph - Mick
item Harhay, Dayna
item Guerini, Michael
item Wheeler, Tommy
item Koohmaraie, Mohammad

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/12/2007
Publication Date: 3/1/2008
Citation: Kalchayanand, N., Arthur, T.M., Bosilevac, J.M., Brichta-Harhay, D.M., Guerini, M.N., Wheeler, T.L., Koohmaraie, M. 2008. Evaluation of various antimicrobial interventions for the reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 on bovine heads during processing. Journal of Food Protection 71(3):621-624.

Interpretive Summary: Cheek meat from the head is often used in preparation of ground beef, chopped beef, and fabricated beef steak. Beef heads have a similar level of risk of contamination as the beef carcass. During processing, heads are removed from the carcass prior to the application of the final antimicrobial interventions. The objective of this study was to evaluate commercially available antimicrobial treatments (hot water, lactic acid, FreshFX™, electrolyzed oxidizing water, and ozonated water) as interventions for reducing E. coli O157:H7 on beef heads. Spray washing with hot water, lactic acid, or FreshFX™ effectively reduced E. coli O157:H7, and can be applied as intervention treatments during processing of beef heads as an additional safety hurdle for products derived from head tissues.

Technical Abstract: Variety meats, including head and cheek meats, account for a small percentage of total meat production, but head and cheek meats do add to the profit for the meat industry. During processing, heads are not always subjected to the same interventions as carcasses, but are still at risk of the same contamination. Therefore, several antimicrobial interventions were examined to determine their effects on reducing E. coli O157:H7 on beef heads. The effectiveness of electrolyzed oxidizing water (EO; 60 ppm chlorine and 1190 mV), FreshFX™ (1:50), hot water (74 C), DL- lactic acid (2%), and ozonated water (OZ; 2.3 ppm and 25 C) treatments was determined using a model carcass spray wash cabinet. A total of 140 beef heads removed directly from a commercial processing line were inoculated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 on the cheek areas at approximately 1 million CFU per cm sq. Each head was exposed to a simulated preevisceration wash followed by antimicrobial treatments. Viability loss and sublethal injury caused by each antimicrobial treatment also was determined. All antimicrobial compounds tested caused viability loss and inflicted injury to E. coli O157:H7. Hot water, lactic acid, and FreshFX® treatments effectively reduced E. coli O157:H7 on inoculated beef heads by 1.7, 1.5, and 1.1 log CFU/cm sq., respectively, relative to the simulated preevisceration wash. EO and OZ reduced E. coli O157:H7 less than 0.5 log CFU/cm sq. Hot water, lactic acid, and FreshFx™ provided effective decontamination washes for the reduction of E. coli O157:H7 on bovine heads and cheek meats.