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Validation of the Use of Organic Acids and Acidified Sodium Chlorite To Reduce Escherichia coli O157 and Salmonella Typhimurium in Beef Trim and Ground Beef in a Simulated Processing Environment

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A study was conducted to determine if acidified sodium chlorite (1,200 ppm) and acetic and lactic acids (2 and 4%) were effective in reducing foodborne pathogens in beef trim prior to grinding in a simulated processing environment. The reduction of Salmonella Typhimurium and Escherichia coli O157:H7 at high (4.0 log CFU/g) and low (1.0 log CFU/g) inoculation doses was evaluated at various processing steps, including the following: (i) in trim just after treatment application, (ii) in ground beef just after grinding, (iii) in ground beef 24 h after refrigerated storage, (iv) in ground beef 5 days after refrigerated storage, and (v) in ground beef 30 days after frozen storage. All antimicrobial treatments reduced the pathogens on the trim inoculated with the lower inoculation dose to nondetectable numbers in the trim and in the ground beef. There were significant reductions of both pathogens in the trim and in the ground beef inoculated with the high inoculation doses. On the trim itself, E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Typhimurium were reduced by 1.5 to 2.0 log cycles, with no differences among all treatments. In the ground beef, the organic acids were more effective in reducing both pathogens than the acidified sodium chlorite immediately after grinding, but after 1 day of storage, there were no differences among treatments. Overall, in the ground beef, there was a 2.5-log reduction of E. coli O157:H7 and a 1.5-log reduction of Salmonella Typhimurium that was sustained over time in refrigerated and frozen storage. Very few sensory differences between the control samples and the treated samples were detected by a consumer panel. Thus, antimicrobial treatments did not cause serious adverse sensory changes. Use of these antimicrobial treatments can be a promising intervention available to ground beef processors who currently have few interventions in their process.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 201 Animal and Food Sciences Building, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas 79409, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2006

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