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Microbiological Quality of Beef Subprimals as Affected by Lactic Acid Sprays Applied at Various Points during Vacuum Storage

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Beef strip loins were sprayed with 1.5% (vol/vol) lactic acid before and/or after 14, 28, 56, 84, and 126 days of vacuum-packaged storage at −1.1 or 2°C to assess the effects on bacteria. Five different treatment combinations including a control (no spray treatment) and one treatment with prestorage acid spray followed by poststorage water spray (A/W) were evaluated. Compared to the controls, 97% of all acid-treated loins had lower microbial counts throughout the storage period. Prestorage acid spray (A/0) was more effective than poststorage acid spray (0/A) with the greatest effects (P < 0.05) being observed on day 28, where the bacterial population was reduced by 1.9 and 1.5 log CFU/cm2 for loins stored at −1.1 and 2°C, respectively. Microbial counts for loins with A/A (acid spray both before and after vacuum storage) or A/W treatments were lower than but not significantly different from A/0 (P > 0.05). Poststorage washing resulted in a minimal decontaminating effect, irrespective of the washing agent used. In addition, single spray treatment immediately after fabrication seems more effective and practical than a double spray. Temperature main effects showed that colder temperature (−1.1 versus 2°C) reduced (P < 0.03) microbial growth throughout the storage period. Salmonella contamination was not detected in any samples; however, 28% of the control and 4% of the spray-treated loins were positive for Listeria spp. Appropriate time of acid application in combination with colder storage temperature improved the microbiological quality of meat for at least four weeks.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Kansas State University, Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, Weber Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506-0201, USA

Publication date: July 1, 1997

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