Inactivation of Shiga Toxin-Producing O157:H7 and Non-O157:H7 Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Brine-Injected, Gas-Grilled Steaks

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038, USA.
Journal of food protection (Impact Factor: 1.85). 07/2011; 74(7):1054-64. DOI: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-10-579
Source: PubMed


We quantified translocation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 (ECOH) and non-O157:H7 verocytotoxigenic E. coli (STEC) into beef subprimals after brine injection and subsequently monitored their viability after cooking steaks cut therefrom. Beef subprimals were inoculated on the lean side with ca. 6.0 log CFU/g of a five-strain cocktail of rifampin-resistant ECOH or kanamycin-resistant STEC, and then passed once through an automatic brine-injector tenderizer, with the lean side facing upward. Brine solutions (9.9% ± 0.3% over fresh weight) consisted of 3.3% (wt/vol) of sodium tripolyphosphate and 3.3% (wt/vol) of sodium chloride, prepared both with (Lac(+), pH = 6.76) and without (Lac(-), pH = 8.02) a 25% (vol/vol) solution of a 60% potassium lactate-sodium diacetate syrup. For all samples injected with Lac(-) or Lac(+) brine, levels of ECOH or STEC recovered from the topmost 1 cm (i.e., segment 1) of a core sample obtained from tenderized subprimals ranged from ca. 4.7 to 6.3 log CFU/g; however, it was possible to recover ECOH or STEC from all six segments of all cores tested. Next, brine-injected steaks from tenderized subprimals were cooked on a commercial open-flame gas grill to internal endpoint temperatures of either 37.8 °C (100 °F), 48.8 °C (120 °F), 60 °C (140 °F), or 71.1 °C (160 °F). Regardless of brine formulation or temperature, cooking achieved reductions (expressed as log CFU per gram) of 0.3 to 4.1 of ECOH and 0.5 to 3.6 of STEC. However, fortuitous survivors were recovered even at 71.1 °C (160 °F) for ECOH and for STEC. Thus, ECOH and STEC behaved similarly, relative to translocation and thermal destruction: Tenderization via brine injection transferred both pathogens throughout subprimals and cooking highly contaminated, brine-injected steaks on a commercial gas grill at 71.1 °C (160 °F) did not kill all cells due, primarily, to nonuniform heating (i.e., cold spots) within the meat.

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    • "Tenderization is typically performed to increase the meat's tenderness and textural palatability, and hence the perceived value of the meat. However, these processes transfer bacteria from the surface of the subprimal beef cut into the interior (Huang & Sheen, 2011; Luchansky et al., 2009, 2011; Sporing, 1999); therefore, it is expected that raw non-intact beef cuts can contain greater internal levels of pathogens than intact cuts. Also, there is an increased potential for lateral cross-contamination of subprimals during this process, where E. coli O157:H7 from a contaminated subprimal can transfer to a previously uncontaminated subprimal via tenderization equipment (Huang & Sheen, 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: A stochastic, quantitative risk assessment model was developed to evaluate the public health risks associated with consumption of ground beef and beef cuts contaminated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Canada. The objectives of this work were to evaluate the relative effects of pre-harvest and processing interventions on public health risks using a novel approach, and compare the baseline risks from consumption of ground beef, non-intact beef cuts, and intact beef cuts. Rather than considering efficacy of all interventions at primary production and processing as default values, the model incorporated findings from critical systematic review and meta-analysis of published literature. Public health risks, expressed as average probability of illness per serving, were reduced by 30.9%–72.1%, 44.0%–96.5%, and 95.1%–99.9%, for single pre-harvest interventions, single processing interventions excluding water spray chilling, and combinations of interventions, respectively, relative to a worst-case scenario where no pre-harvest or processing interventions were applied. Combinations of interventions applied at pre-harvest and throughout processing resulted in the greatest relative risk reductions through their effects on both prevalence and concentration of the pathogen in cattle faeces and on cattle carcasses. The use of systematic review methodology to critically assess the results of scientific studies before use of the data in risk modelling enhances the confidence in risk predictions and provides a more evidenced-based model for public health analyses. Analysis of conditions reflective of current practices in Canada indicated that risks from consumption of ground beef were approximately two to three orders of magnitude greater than those for beef cuts, suggesting that risk management measures should focus on the former product to maximize benefits to public health. Risks from consumption of non-intact beef cuts, that is, steaks or roasts that are tenderized, were an order of magnitude greater than those for intact beef cuts. The model provides a useful tool to compare relative efficacies of different intervention strategies to determine their potential impact on public health risks. This tool can be used to evaluate an essentially limitless combination of intervention scenarios and can be adapted to include interventions applied at different points along the farm-to-fork continuum as critically-reviewed data become available.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Food Control
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    ABSTRACT: We compared the fate of cells of both Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (ECOH) and Shiga toxin-producing non-O157:H7 E. coli (STEC) in blade-tenderized steaks after tenderization and cooking on a gas grill. In phase I, beef subprimal cuts were inoculated on the lean side with about 5.5 log CFU/g of a five-strain mixture of ECOH or STEC and then passed once through a mechanical blade tenderizer with the lean side facing up. In each of two trials, 10 core samples were removed from each of two tenderized subprimals and cut into six consecutive segments starting from the inoculated side. Ten total cores also were obtained from two nontenderized (control) subprimals, but only segment 1 (the topmost segment) was sampled. The levels of ECOH and STEC recovered from segment 1 were about 6.0 and 5.3 log CFU/g, respectively, for the control subprimals and about 5.7 and 5.0 log CFU/g, respectively, for the tenderized subprimals. However, both ECOH and STEC behaved similarly in terms of translocation, and cells of both pathogen cocktails were recovered from all six segments of the cores obtained from tenderized subprimals, albeit at lower levels in segments 2 to 6 than those found in segment 1. In phase II, steaks (2.54 and 3.81 cm thick) cut from tenderized subprimals were subsequently cooked (three steaks per treatment) on a commercial open-flame gas grill to internal temperatures of 48.9, 54.4, 60.0, 65.6, and 71.1°C. Regardless of temperature or thickness, we observed 2.0- to 4.1-log and 1.5- to 4.5-log reductions in ECOH and STEC levels, respectively. Both ECOH and STEC behaved similarly in response to heat, in that cooking eliminated significant numbers of both pathogen types; however, some survivors were recovered due, presumably, to uneven heating of the blade-tenderized steaks.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Journal of food protection
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to investigate the growth of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC, including serogroups O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145) in raw ground beef and to develop mathematical models to describe the bacterial growth under different temperature conditions. Three primary growth models were evaluated, including the Baranyi model, the Huang 2008 model, and a new growth model that is based on the communication of messenger signals during bacterial growth. A 5 strain cocktail of freshly prepared STEC was inoculated to raw ground beef samples and incubated at temperatures ranging from 10 to 35 °C at 5 °C increments. Minimum relative growth (<1 log10 cfu/g) was observed at 10 °C, whereas at other temperatures, all 3 phases of growth were observed. Analytical results showed that all 3 models were equally suitable for describing the bacterial growth under constant temperatures. The maximum cell density of STEC in raw ground beef increased exponentially with temperature, but reached a maximum of 8.53 log10 cfu/g of ground beef. The specific growth rates estimated by the 3 primary models were practically identical and can be evaluated by either the Ratkowsky square-root model or a Bělehrádek-type model. The temperature dependence of lag phase development for all 3 primary models was also developed. The results of this study can be used to estimate the growth of STEC in raw ground beef at temperatures between 10 and 35 °C. Practical Application: Incidents of foodborne infections caused by non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) have increased in recent years. This study reports the growth kinetics and mathematical modeling of STEC in ground beef. The mathematical models can be used in risk assessment of STEC in ground beef.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Journal of Food Science
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