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New and Established Carcass Decontamination Procedures Commonly Used in the Beef-Processing Industry

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The fate of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and salmonellae as well as other potentially pathogenic bacteria resulting from fecal and other sources of contamination on red meat carcasses is a major concern. The development and validation of various decontamination procedures for red meat carcasses is not a new research area. However, recent morbidity and mortality attributable to the presence of E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef has heightened the awareness of and rekindled a sense of urgency for this research. Over the last few years various intervention processes have been developed and are being used to decontaminate red meat carcasses. Some of these processes include carcass rinses with antimicrobial compounds, steam, vacuum, and hot water. An overview of the results of several recent investigations demonstrating the effectiveness of these decontamination methods is presented.


Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, P.O. Box 166, Clay Center, Nebraska 68933-0166, USA

Publication date: September 1, 1997

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