Submitted to: Journal of Meat Science
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/20/2014
Publication Date: 9/1/2014
Citation: Wheeler, T.L., Kalchayanand, N., Bosilevac, J.M., 2014. Pre- and post-harvest interventions to reduce pathogen contamination in the U.S. beef industry. In: Proceedings of the 60th International Congress of Meat Science and technology, August 17-18, 2014, Punta Del Este, Uruguay. Journal of Meat Science. 98:372-382.
Technical Abstract: Significant effort has been targeted at reducing the risk of pathogens in U.S. beef products since the mid-1990s. These efforts were focused on E. coli O157:H7 after it was declared an adulterant in ground beef or its components. Initial efforts were composed primarily of post-harvest interventions applied to hides and carcasses by the beef processing sector which resulted in significant progress. Meanwhile six additional non-O157 E. coli serogroups were made adulterants in some beef products in 2012 and studies to ensure existing interventions for O157 were effective against the six non-O157 STEC were conducted. By the mid-2000s the general consensus was that much progress had been made at the processing plants and further significant improvement in reducing pathogen risk would require pre-harvest strategies to reduce pathogens before animals arrived at processing plants. However, effective pre-harvest approaches proved much harder to identify and implement. Currently, significant discussion regarding Salmonella as an adulterant is becoming more focused, thus, efforts to ensure availability of effective interventions against Salmonella are under way. Success to date has resulted from the combination of regulatory, research, and industry efforts to gain control of pathogens in beef. This paper reviews interventions used to reduce the risk of pathogens in beef products and some of the research and events that have influenced their implementation.