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Chemical Dehairing of Bovine Skin To Reduce Pathogenic Bacteria and Bacteria of Fecal Origin

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A chemical dehairing process was applied to artificially contaminated bovine hide to evaluate the effect on populations of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Typhimurium, as well as other strains of E. coli, total coliforms, and aerobic plate counts (APe). Pieces of hide (4 cm2 were contaminated with bovine feces inoculated with both rifampicin-resistant E. coli O157:H7 and S. Typhimurium to yield a final count of each pathogen of ca. 5.0 log10 CFU/cm2, or with noninoculated feces which produced an approximate final APC of 6.0 log10 CFU/cm2 and a coliform and E. coli count of 5.0 log10 CFU/cm2. Counts of pathogens, APC, coliforms, and E. coli were conducted before and after applying the dehairing treatment. S. Typhimurium and E. coli O157:H7 populations were significantly reduced from initial numbers (5.1 to 5.3 log10 CFU/cm2 to levels below the detection limit of 0.5 log10 CFU/cm2 after chemical dehairing. APC, coliforms, and E. coli counts were also reduced significantly after dehairing, with reductions of 3.4 for APC, 3.9 for coliforms, and >4.3 log10 CFU/cm2 for other E. coli strains. Since the hide is a major source of fecal contamination of beef carcass surfaces, chemical dehairing may be beneficial in reducing overall contamination of carcasses.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Food Science and Engineering, Center for Food Safety, Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-2471, USA 2: Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Preventive Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA 3: Monfort Inc., Greeley, Colorado 80631, USA

Publication date: May 1, 1998

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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