Submitted to: Frontiers in Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/14/2016
Publication Date: 4/14/2016
Citation: Sommers, C.H., Scullen, O.J., Sheen, S. 2016. Inactivation of uropathogenic Escherichia coli in ground chicken meat using high pressure processing and gamma radiation, and in purge and chicken meat surfaces by ultraviolet light. Frontiers in Microbiology. 7(413):1-6.
Interpretive Summary: Uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) are common contaminants in meat and poultry which cause millions of urinary tract infections annually. The UPEC cause illness in humans, primarily women and girls, after they colonize the gastrointestinal tract and are then accidently transferred to the urinary tract by contaminated feces. The UPEC also cause illness in millions of pets annually. FDA approved nonthermal food safety intervention technologies used to improve safety and shelf-life of human and pet foods include high pressure processing (HPP), ionizing (gamma) radiation (GR), and ultraviolet light (UV-C). In this study we found that HPP (500 MPa), GR (1.8-3.0 kGy), or UV-C (80 mW/cm2) could eliminate 5 log (99.999%) of the UPEC in ground chicken or in chicken exudate. The conditions needed to kill the UPEC are similar to those needed to kill E. coli O157:H7 in meat and poultry. The results of this study will allow regulatory agencies, women’s health groups, and the food processing industry to conduct risk analysis and provide safer meat and poultry to consumers. Consumers will benefit from having more information about foods treated with alternative processes such as HPP, GR, UV-C.
Technical Abstract: Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) are common contaminants in meat and poultry. Nonthermal food safety intervention technologies used to improve safety and shelf-life of both human and pet foods can include high pressure processing (HPP), ionizing (gamma) radiation (GR), and ultraviolet light (UV-C). A six isolate cocktail of the UPEC was inoculated into ground chicken which was then treated using HPP (4 deg C, 0-25 min) at 300, 400 or 500 MPa. HPP D-10, the processing conditions needed to inactivate 1 log of STEC, was 30.6, 8.37, and 4.43 min, respectively. When the UPEC cocktail was inoculated into ground chicken and gamma irradiated (4 and -20 deg C) the GR D-10 were 0.28 and 0.36 kGy, respectively. When the UPEC cocktail was inoculated into chicken exudates which was then placed on food contact surfaces and treated with UV-C, the UV-C D-10 was ca. 12 mJ/cm2. UV-C (1.0 J/cm2) inactivated ca. 1 log of UPEC on skinless chicken breast meat. These results indicate that existing nonthermal processing technologies such as HPP, GR, and UV-C can be used to kill UPEC in poultry meat and reduce the risk of foodborne illness for consumers.