Carvacrol and Cinnamaldehyde Facilitate Thermal Destruction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Raw Ground Beef

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The heat resistance of a four-strain mixture of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in raw ground beef in both the absence and presence of the antimicrobials carvacrol and cinnamaldehyde was tested at temperatures ranging from 55 to 62.5°C. Inoculated meat packaged in bags was completely immersed in a circulating water bath, cooked for 1 h to an internal temperature of 55, 58, 60, or 62.5°C, and then held for predetermined lengths of time ranging from 210 min at 55°C to 5 min at 62.5°C. The surviving bacteria were enumerated by spiral plating onto tryptic soy agar overlaid with sorbitol MacConkey agar. Inactivation kinetics of the pathogens deviated from first-order kinetics. D-values (time for the bacteria to decrease by 90%) in the control beef ranged from 63.90 min at 55°C to 1.79 min at 62.5°C. D-values determined by a logistic model ranged from 43.18 min (D 1, the D-value of a major population of surviving cells) and 89.84 min (D 2, the D-value of a minor subpopulation) at 55°C to 1.77 (D 1) and 0.78 min (D 2) at 62.5°C. The thermal death times suggested that to achieve a 4-D reduction, contaminated processed ground beef should be heated to an internal temperature of 60°C for at least 30.32 min. Significantly increased sensitivity to heat (P < 0.05) was observed with the addition and/or increasing levels of carvacrol or cinnamaldehyde from 0.5 to 1.0%. The observed thermal death times may facilitate the design of acceptance limits at critical control points for ground beef at lower times and temperatures of heating.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Microbial Food Safety Research Unit, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038, USA 2: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Produce Safety and Microbiology Research Unit, Western Regional Research Center, Albany, California 94710, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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