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Effects of Acetic-Lactic Acid Treatments Applied to Beef Trim on Populations of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes in Ground Beef

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The efficacy of organic acid sprays for eliminating Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes from beef trim used in a model ground beef production scheme was determined. Beef trim pieces with ca. 20% fat inoculated with E. coli O157:H7 or L. monocytogenes (ca. 3 log10 CFU/g) were utilized as controls or treated by spraying with 2 or 4% acetic and lactic acids. Propylene glycol (20%) was the carrier for each treatment. Following acid treatment, intact pieces were stored at 4°C for 12 or 24 h, ground, divided into 4 100-g retail packages and stored at 4°C for 0, 1, 2, or 4 days, at which time surviving populations of E. coli O157:H7 or L. monocytogenes were enumerated. High populations (>2.6 log10 CFU/g) of the pathogens persisted in all treatments. The 2% acid spray reduced (P < 0.01) the E. coli O157:H7 population by only 0.1 log10 CFU/g. The 2 and 4% acid sprays reduced (P < 0.001) the L. monocytogenes populations by 0.36 and 0.44 log10 CFU/g, respectively. Storing beef trim intact prior to grinding resulted in lower populations of E. coli O157:H7, and storage following grinding did not affect populations of either pathogen. The acid treatments tested were only slightly effective as sanitizers for beef trim destined for ground beef production.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Poultry Science, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama 36849-5416, USA 2: Department of Animal and Dairy Science, and Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama 36849-5416, USA

Publication date: December 1, 1997

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