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Application of High Pressure Processing To Kill Escherichia coli O157 in Ready-to-Eat Meats

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Uncooked ready-to-eat (RTE) meats have previously been identified as vehicles for the transmission of the foodborne pathogen Escherichia coli O157. In this study, the potential for high pressure processing (HPP) to kill E. coli O157 in two RTE meats (Hungarian salami and All Beef salami) was investigated. The RTE meats were inoculated with a five-strain cocktail of E. coli O157, vacuum packed, and then pressure treated at 600 MPa with a hold time of 3 min. Samples were stored at 15 C for 28 days. HPP initially reduced E. coli numbers on both RTE meats by greater than 4 log CFU/g. However, with enrichment and immunomagnetic separation we were able to recover E. coli O157 from the samples. During storage, the numbers of E. coli O157 increased on the All Beef samples but remained static on the Hungarian salami, which had a restrictive pH and water activity. Increasing the hold time to 6 or 9 min did not result in additional reduction of E. coli O157. The sensory appeal of the two products was not significantly changed by HPP as determined by a sensory panel (n 50). Analysis of the reflected light parameters of luminance, green-red, and blue-yellow revealed no significant changes. The results of these experiments indicate that HPP has potential as a lethal treatment for E. coli O157 on RTE meats with minimal changes in consumer appeal.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, Postal Locator 2204E, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0K9 2: Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry, McGill University, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, Canada H9X 3V9

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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