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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 #398418

Research Project: Holistic Tactics to Advance the Microbiological Safety and Quality of the Red Meat Continuum

Location: Meat Safety and Quality

Title: Fate of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Salmonella during kosher processing of fresh beef

item Kalchayanand, Norasak - Nor
item KOOHMARAIE, MOHAMMAD - Institute Of Environmental Health Laboratories And Consulting Group
item Wheeler, Tommy

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/29/2023
Publication Date: 6/1/2023
Citation: Kalchayanand, N., Koohmaraie, M., Wheeler, T.L. 2023. Fate of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Salmonella during kosher processing of fresh beef. Journal of Food Protection. 86(6). Article 100088.

Interpretive Summary: Seventy-four percent of Americans believe that kosher food is safer due to strict rules of the Jewish faith. However, pathogens may contaminate surfaces of fresh beef during kosher slaughter processing. With kosher restrictions, most antimicrobials used in non-kosher beef processing cannot be applied leaving only the use of salt as an antimicrobial. Salt has antibacterial effects, but the impact of the salt on foodborne pathogens and beef quality has not been well determined. Salted and chilled treatment improved the microbial safety of fresh beef but also caused color changes, higher salt residues to the final products, and increased off flavor during storage at refrigeration temperature.

Technical Abstract: Traditional kosher meat processing involves the following steps after slaughtering: soaking with water to remove blood, salting to help draw out more blood, and rinsing to remove salt. However, the impact of the salt used on foodborne pathogens and beef quality is not well understood. The objectives of the current study were to determine the effectiveness of salt in reducing pathogens in a pure culture model, on surfaces of inoculated fresh beef during kosher processing, and the effect of salt on beef quality. The pure culture studies indicated that the reduction of E. coli O157:H7, non-O157 STEC, and Salmonella increased with increasing salt concentrations. With salt concentrations from 3 to 13%, salt reduced E. coli O157:H7, non-O157 STEC, and Salmonella ranging from 0.49 to 1.61 log CFU/mL. For kosher processing, the water-soaking step did not reduce pathogenic and other bacteria on the surface of fresh beef. Salting and rinsing steps reduced non-O157 STEC, E. coli O157:H7, and Salmonella ranging from 0.83 to 1.42 log CFU/cm2 , and reduced Enterobacteriaceae, coliforms, and aerobic bacteria by 1.04, 0.95, and 0.70 log CFU/cm2, respectively. The salting process for kosher beef resulted in reducing pathogens on the surface of fresh beef, color changes, increased salt residues, and increased lipid oxidation on the final products.