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Removal of Escherichia coli O157:H7 from Surface Tissues of Beef Carcasses Inoculated with Wet and Dry Manure

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Beef tissues were contaminated with wet and dry manure. The manure was previously inoculated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 GFP, genetically modified with a plasmid encoding a protein that fluoresces green when exposed to long-wave ultraviolet light. After incubation at 37°C for 5 days, the wet manure was spread on the surface of beef tissues at an average E. coli O157:H7 GFP level of 6.62 log CFU/cm2. Dry manure was obtained by subjecting wet manure to natural drying (simulating dry manure adhering to the hides of cattle) and was also applied to the surfaces of beef tissues. The degree of removal of E. coli O157:H7 GFP by washing was compared to the removal of cells of the same strain that had been inoculated as a suspension. The E. coli O157:H7 mixed into feces of cattle adhered more strongly to meat surfaces than that applied as a suspension, complicating the removal by conventional washing procedures. The fate of the bacterium mixed into wet or dry manure was evaluated. An initial decrease of the inoculated population was observed; this was probably an effect of the changed environment represented by the manure. After adaptation, the inoculated bacteria grew in the wet manure; a maximum population was reached in 5 days at 37°C; levels declined with drying. The use of the GFP marker was of great value, since it allowed enumeration of E. coli O157:H7 in the presence of the natural flora of manure.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Sadia Concordia S.A. Com. Ind., Garantia da Qualidade, R. Fortunato Ferraz 616, 05093-020 São Paulo (SP), Brazil 2: Universidade de São Paulo, Instituto de Ciências Biomedicas, Av. Lineu Prestes 1374, 05389-082 Cidade Universitária, São Paulo (SP), Brazil 3: University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Population Health and Reproduction, 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, California 95616-8743, USA 4: National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Madras Zonal Laboratory, CSIR Madras Complex, Taramani, Madras–600 113, India

Publication date: October 1, 1998

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