Location: Meat Safety & Quality ResearchTitle: Evaluation of ultraviolet (UV) light and UV-Ozone combination as fresh beef interventions against pathogenic bacteria and their effects on beef quality
Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/21/2020
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: UV light and ozone have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a sanitizer for food-contact surfaces and for direct application on food products. Both UV light and ozone are effective in reducing microorganisms without leaving chemical residues in food. Fresh beef tissues were exposed to UV light or UV in combination with gaseous ozone to evaluate their effect on reducing pathogenic bacteria. The results indicate that UV light or UV in combination with ozone was effective in reducing pathogenic E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria on surfaces of fresh beef without impairing fresh beef quality, while reducing water and energy usage. UV light and UV in combination with ozone may provide meat processors additional technologies to improve the safety of beef products.
Technical Abstract: Ozone inactivates microorganisms through oxidation and residual ozone spontaneously decomposes to oxygen making it an environmentally sound antimicrobial agent for use in the food industry. This research study was based on UV and ozone treatments that have recently received attention from the beef processing industry as antimicrobial interventions with lower energy and water requirement that leave no chemical residues on products. The objectives were to evaluate effectiveness of UV and UV in combination with gaseous ozone treatments for inactivation of pathogenic bacteria on fresh beef and the impact on fresh beef quality. Fresh beef tissues were inoculated with cocktail mixtures of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O145, and O157:H7), Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes. Inoculated fresh beef tissues were subjected to UV or UV in combination with gaseous ozone treatments for 0, 15, 35, and 70 s. Study results showed that UV treatment alone or UV in combination with ozone reduced populations of STEC, Salmonella, L. monocytogenes, and aerobic bacteria ranging from 0.86 to 1.49 log, 0.76 to 1.33 log, 0.5 to 1.14 log, and 0.64 to 1.23 log, respectively. Decimal reduction times (D-value) for serogroup of STEC, Salmonella and L. monocytogenes on surfaces of fresh beef indicated that UV treatment in combination with ozone was more effective (P = 0.05) in reducing pathogens on surfaces of fresh beef than treatment with UV light alone. Exposure to UV or UV with gaseous ozone did not have a deleterious effect on fresh meat color and did not accelerate the formation of oxidative rancidity. The findings suggest that UV and UV in combination with gaseous ozone can be useful in enhancing the microbial safety of fresh beef without impairing fresh beef quality, while reducing water and energy usage.