Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Meat Safety and Quality » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #355507

Research Project: Mitigation Approaches for Foodborne Pathogens in Cattle and Swine for Use During Production and Processing

Location: Meat Safety and Quality

Title: Photohydroionization reduces shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli and Salmonella on fresh beef with minimal effects on meat quality

item YANG, XIANG - University Of California, Davis
item Kalchayanand, Norasak - Nor
item BELK, KEITH - Colorado State University
item Wheeler, Tommy

Submitted to: Meat and Muscle Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/7/2019
Publication Date: 4/4/2019
Publication URL:
Citation: Yang, X., Kalchayanand, N., Belk, K.E., Wheeler, T.L. 2019. Photohydroionization reduces shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli and Salmonella on fresh beef with minimal effects on meat quality. Meat and Muscle Biology. 3(1):105-115.

Interpretive Summary: Beef processors have implemented comprehensive food safety systems to keep meat safe and wholesome for consumers. These food safety systems include numerous antimicrobial interventions to reduce the risk of pathogen contamination on meat. Many of these interventions utilize large amounts of energy and water. Radiant catalytic ionization technology utilizes a combination of oxidation gases (such as ozone and hydrogen peroxide) in conjunction with ultraviolet light. The combination of these two natural disinfectants creates an environment that is effective in reducing microorganisms on food surfaces. The radiant catalytic ionization technology is nonthermal, does not require the use of water nor leaves any residual by-product. The objectives of the study were to determine the effect of radiant catalytic ionization on reducing foodborne pathogens on beef surfaces and the impact on lean color and lipid oxidation of beef during refrigerated storage. The treatment reduced the levels of all bacteria tested and had minimal impact on meat quality traits. This research provides preliminary data for proof of concept for the antimicrobial efficacy of radiant catalytic ionization treatment on foodborne pathogens. Further research is needed to optimize the parameters under commercial settings for greater bacterial inactivation without adverse effect on meat quality.

Technical Abstract: The photohydroionization (PHI) technology utilizes a combination of UV light and low-level oxidizers to produce antimicrobial action, and thus, is a potential intervention to control pathogen contamination on surface of fresh beef. The objectives of the study were 1) to evaluate the effect of PHI on reduction of selected Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7, non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC; O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O145), antimicrobial resistant (AMR) and non-AMR Salmonella strains inoculated on beef flanks, and 2) to evaluate the effect of PHI treatment on the lean color and lipid oxidation of beef during refrigerated storage. Inoculated beef flanks were exposed to PHI treatment for 0 (control), 15, 30, or 60 s at 4°C. Exposure to PHI for 15 s reduced (P = 0.05) pathogens on the surface of fresh beef ranging from 0.3 to 0.9 log CFU/cm2. Increasing the exposure time to 60 s did not improve (P > 0.05) reductions over 15 s for the majority of the selected pathogens, but yielded pathogen reductions ranging from 0.5 to 1.1 log CFU/cm2. Over all storage times when beef samples were exposed to PHI for 75 s, no difference (P > 0.05) was detected on lean a* value (24.67 versus 24.95), of treated and control fresh beef tissues, respectively. The highest TBARS values after storage for 14 d at 4°C was 0.33 mg MDA/kg of meat indicating that no oxidative rancidity occurred for treated beef samples. The PHI technology with 15 to 75 s exposure time was effective in controlling STEC and Salmonella contaminated on surface of fresh beef without causing adverse effects on fresh beef quality while reducing water and energy use. Further study of PHI treatment parameters under commercial plant conditions and ultimate validation of those parameters will be necessary for commercial implementation.