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Increased Inactivation of Ozone-Treated Clostridium perfringens Vegetative Cells and Spores on Fabricated Beef Surfaces Using Mild Heat

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Ozone treatment of beef surfaces enhanced the effectiveness of cooking temperatures ranging from 45 to 75°C against enterotoxin-producing strains of Clostridium perfringens. Vegetative cells on beef surfaces at an initial concentration of 5.59 ± 0.17 log CFU/g were reduced significantly (P < 0.05) to 4.09 ± 0.72 log CFU/g and 3.50 ± 0.90 log CFU/g after combined treatments with aqueous ozone (5 ppm) and subsequent heating at 45 and 55°C, respectively. Spores on the beef surface were likewise significantly reduced from an initial concentration of 2.94 ± 0.37 log spores per g to 2.07 ± 0.38 log spores per g and 1.70 ± 0.37 log spores per g after the combined treatment with aqueous ozone (5 ppm) and subsequent heating at 55 and 75°C, respectively. Fluorescent nucleic acid stains were used with confocal fluorescence microscopy to show that spores remaining attached to the meat were protected from treatment-specific injury. This study provides evidence for the decreased resistance of both vegetative cells and spores of C. perfringens with ozone treatment that is followed by heat treatment at temperatures that would not otherwise be as effective, thus lowering the requirements for cooking beef while maintaining a margin of safety.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Microbial Food Safety Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038 2: American Air Liquide, Chicago Research Center, 5230 S. East Avenue, Countryside, Illinois 60525, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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