Factors Influencing Attachment of Escherichia coli O157:H7 to Beef Tissues and Removal Using Selected Sanitizing Rinses

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Attachment of E. coli O157:H7 and E. coli K12 to beef tenderloin filet, chuck, and adipose tissues was studied. Most attachment occurred within 1 min of incubation; the number of attached organisms depended on the concentration of bacteria in the liquid inoculum. Similar levels of E. coli bound to the three types of beef tissues tested. E. coli O157:H7 was heavily piliated; however, there was no significant difference between levels of bound E. coli O157:H7 and E. coli K12, indicating that these surface structures apparently are not involved in attachment. Scanning electron photomicrographs of meat tissue and of purified collagen suggested that bacteria attached primarily to collagen fibers. Rinsing solutions consisting of 10% trisodium phosphate (TSP), 2% acetic acid (HAc), phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and combinations of each were tested for effectiveness in reducing the number of attached E. coli. The level of bacteria removed from tenderloin tissue following TSP, HAc, or PBS rinses did not differ considerably. When beef tissues were stored at 4°C for 18 h after the various rinse combinations, TSP rinse treatments reduced the levels of E. coli K12 and O157:H7 attached to adipose tissue up to 3.4 and 2.7 log units, respectively, compared to PBS rinse treatments. Therefore, TSP may be effective for reducing populations of E. coli O157:H7 on beef carcass tissue.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: U.S. Department of Agriculture, ARS, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 E. Mermaid Lane, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19118, USA 2: U.S. Department of Agriculture, ARS, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 E. Mermaid Lane, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19118, USA; North Carolina State University, Department of Plant Pathology, Raleigh, NC 27695

Publication date: May 1, 1996

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