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Evaluation of Lactic Acid as an Initial and Secondary Subprimal Intervention for Escherichia coli O157:H7, Non-O157 Shiga Toxin–Producing E. coli, and a Nonpathogenic E. coli Surrogate for E. coli O157:H7

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Abstract:

Lactic acid can reduce microbial contamination on beef carcass surfaces when used as a food safety intervention, but effectiveness when applied to the surface of chilled beef subprimal sections is not well documented. Studies characterizing bacterial reduction on subprimals after lactic acid treatment would be useful for validations of hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) systems. The objective of this study was to validate initial use of lactic acid as a subprimal intervention during beef fabrication followed by a secondary application to vacuum-packaged product that was applied at industry operating parameters. Chilled beef subprimal sections (100 cm2) were either left uninoculated or were inoculated with 6 log CFU/cm2 of a 5-strain mixture of Escherichia coli O157:H7, a 12-strain mixture of non-O157 Shiga toxin–producing E. coli (STEC), or a 5-strain mixture of nonpathogenic (biotype I) E. coli that are considered surrogates for E. coli O157:H7. Uninoculated and inoculated subprimal sections received only an initial or an initial and a second “rework” application of lactic acid in a custombuilt spray cabinet at 1 of 16 application parameters. After the initial spray, total inoculum counts were reduced from 6.0 log CFU/cm2 to 3.6, 4.4, and 4.4 log CFU/cm2 for the E. coli surrogates, E. coli O157:H7, and non-O157 STEC inoculation groups, respectively. After the second (rework) application, total inoculum counts were 2.6, 3.2, and 3.6 log CFU/cm2 for the E. coli surrogates, E. coli O157:H7, and non-O157 STEC inoculation groups, respectively. Both the initial and secondary lactic acid treatments effectively reduced counts of pathogenic and nonpathogenic strains of E. coli and natural microflora on beef subprimals. These data will be useful to the meat industry as part of the HACCP validation process.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-11-520

Affiliations: 1: Center for Meat Safety & Quality, Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1171, USA 2: Center for Meat Safety & Quality, Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1171, USA. keith.belk@colostate.edu

Publication date: 2012-09-01

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