Article

Microbiological effects of carcass decontaminating treatments at four beef packing plants

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Meat Science (Impact Factor: 2.23). 11/2003; 65(3):1005-11. DOI: 10.1016/S0309-1740(02)00319-4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The effects on the microbiological conditions of carcasses of decontaminating treatments at four beef packing plants were examined. Spraying with 2% lactic acid, vacuum-hot water cleaning and trimming were generally ineffective. Washing reduced numbers of bacteria on carcasses when numbers were relatively high but not when they were relatively low. Pasteurizing with steam or hot water was consistently effective. The results suggest that the maximum reduction of bacteria on carcasses may be obtained by washing and pasteurizing without the other decontaminating treatments that are currently applied to carcasses.

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    • "There are varying reports on the effectiveness of these technologies. Gill and Landers (2003), in a study involving 4 US beef plants, concluded that spraying with 2% lactic acid, vacuum-hot water cleaning and trimming were generally ineffective, washing was only useful when the carcass contamination levels were very high and pasteurisation with steam or hot water were the only technologies that achieved a consistent effect. However, heat water and/or generating steam are costly operations. "
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    • "Following sampling of the hide and prior to pre-evisceration carcass sampling, hides were removed and the pattern lines were steam-vacuumed, which is not expected to significantly affect concentration on carcasses (Gill & Landers, 2003). Cumulative empirical distributions were fit to culture data (Arthur et al., 2004) and TF hc was calculated, assuming the ratio of MPN on hides and carcasses is equivalent to that for CFU, using the following equation: Table 4 Input parameters for the processing module. "
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    • "The detection of MAP DNA does not, of course, establish whether or not all the organisms from which the DNA was extracted were viable. It is possible that the initial contaminants on carcasses include nonviable cells, and the numbers of viable organisms might be reduced by the decontaminating treatments, including pasteurizing, that are applied to carcasses at all three plants (Gill and Landers, 2003). Moreover, washing of carcasses may remove or redistribute MAP as well as other bacteria (Gill et al., 2000) to produce differences in the prevalence of MAP DNA on skinned or dressed carcasses. "
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