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Long-Term Bacterial Profile of Refrigerated Ground Beef Made from Carcass Tissue, Experimentally Contaminated with Pathogens and Spoilage Bacteria after Hot Water, Alkaline, or Organic Acid Washes

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The effects of 2% (vol/vol) lactic acid (LA), 2% (vol/vol) acetic acid (AA), 12% (wt/vol) trisodium phosphate (TSP), 72°C water (HW), and 32°C water (W) washes on bacterial populations which were introduced onto beef carcass surfaces after wash treatments were determined up to 21 days of storage at 4°C of packaged ground beef prepared from the treated and inoculated carcasses. Beef carcass necks were collected from cattle immediately after harvest and subjected to the above treatments or left untreated (control). Neck meat was then inoculated with low levels (ca. <2 log10) of Listeria innocua, Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli OI57:H7, and Clostridium sporogenes contained in a bovine fecal cocktail. In general, growth of these four bacteria, aerobic bacteria, lactic acid bacteria, and pseudomonads was suppressed or not observed in the ground beef when LA, AA, or TSP treatments were used as compared to the untreated control. HW or W washes offered little suppression of growth of pathogens during subsequent storage of ground beef when these bacteria were introduced onto beef tissue posttreatment. Of the treatments used, a final LA or AA wash during the processing of beef carcasses offers the best residual efficacy for suppression of pathogen proliferation in ground beef during long-term refrigerated storageor short-term abusive temperature storage if these bacteria contaminate the carcass immediately after carcass processing.

Document Type: Research 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: 1998-12-01

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