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Lateral Transfer, Vertical Translocation, and Survival of Inoculated Bacteria during Moisture Enhancement of Pork

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Lateral transfer, vertical translocation, and survival of bacteria during moisture enhancement of pork were investigated under laboratory conditions. In the first experiment, a pork loin was surface inoculated with Escherichia coli biotype I and moisture enhanced with brine to 10%. After the inoculated loin had been injected, four uninoculated loins were processed in the same manner, without cleaning or sanitizing the injector equipment. Samples were collected from both the surface and the interior tissues of the pork loins. E. coli biotype I was transferred from the inoculated loins to both the exterior and interior of the uninoculated loins in this process. In the second experiment, pork loins were surface inoculated with E. coli biotype I and injected to 10, 20, and 30% of initial weight. After injection, E. coli biotype I was recovered from both the surface and the interior tissues in the pork loins, although there were no significant differences between injection levels. The third experiment was performed to examine the survival of Salmonella enterica Typhimurium and Campylobacter jejuni in recirculating brines. The brine used for injecting pork loins was inoculated with Salmonella Typhimurium or C. jejuni and then recirculated for 48 h at 4 or 10°C. Samples were collected at specific time intervals, and the surviving populations of the organisms were determined. The populations of both bacteria declined by <1 log over 48 h, and there was no significant difference in populations between temperatures. The present study indicates the potential for cross-contamination of pork during moisture enhancement.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Interdepartmental Microbiology Program, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA 2: Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA.

Publication date: April 1, 2013

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