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Thermal Destruction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Sous-Vide Cooked Ground Beef as Affected by Tea Leaf and Apple Skin Powders

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We investigated the heat resistance of a four-strain mixture of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in raw ground beef in both the absence and presence of white and green tea powders and an apple skin extract. Inoculated meat was cooked using the sousvide technique, i.e., the meat was packaged in sterile bags and completely immersed in a circulating water bath at low temperature for a period of time. The bags were cooked for 1 h to an internal temperature of 55, 58, 60, or 62.5°C, and then held from 240 min at 55°C to 10 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, in minutes, required for the bacteria to decrease by 90%) in the control beef ranged from 67.79 min at 55°C to 2.01 min at 62.5°C. D-values determined by a logistic model ranged from 36.22 (D 1, the D-value of a major population of surviving cells) and 112.79 (D 2, the D-value of a minor subpopulation) at 55 C to 1.39 (D 1) and 3.00 (D 2) at 62.5°C. A significant increase (P < 0.05) in the sensitivity of the bacteria to heat was observed with the addition of 3% added antimicrobials. D-value reductions of 62 to 74% were observed with apple powder and 18 to 58% with tea powders. Thermal death times from this study will assist the retail food industry to design cooking regimes that ensure the safety of beef contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Microbial Food Safety Research Unit, Eastern Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038, USA 2: National Food Research Institute, Food Hygiene Team, Kannondai 2-1-12, Tsukuba 305-8642, Japan 3: Produce Safety and Microbiology Research Unit, Western Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Albany, California 94710, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2009

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