Microbiological effects of carcass decontaminating treatments at four beef packing plants

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Meat Science (Impact Factor: 2.62). 11/2003; 65(3):1005-11. DOI: 10.1016/S0309-1740(02)00319-4
Source: PubMed


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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    ABSTRACT: Within a recent EU research project ("ProSafeBeef"), research on foodborne pathogens in the beef chain was conducted by using a longitudinally integrated (fork-to-farm) approach. There is not any "single intervention-single chain point" combination by which the pathogens would be reliably and entirely eliminated from the chain resulting in total prevention of pathogens in beef and products thereof at the consumption time. Rather, a range of control interventions have to be applied at multiple points of the chain, so to achieve an acceptable, ultimate risk reduction. Various novel interventions were developed and evaluated during the project, and are briefly summarized in this paper. They include on-farm measures, risk categorisation of cattle presented for slaughter, hygiene-based measures and antimicrobial treatments applied on hides and/or carcasses during cattle slaughter, those applied during beef processing-storage-distribution, use of Time Temperature Integrator-based indicators of safety, and effective sanitation of surfaces.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Meat Science
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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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    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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    • "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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    ABSTRACT: Fifty samples were collected from each of skinned and dressed carcasses, from each of culled beef breeding cows and fed beef cattle <18 months old at two beef packing plants A and B, and from culled dairy cows at a packing plant C. The 450 samples were collected by swabbing an area of about 1000 cm2 in the anal region of each carcass. DNA extracted from each swab was tested for the IS900 and F57 sequences of the Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) genome by two stage, nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) procedures. An internal amplification control (IAC) was detected in 45 or more of each group of 50 DNA preparations. IS900 and F57 were detected in some IAC-positive preparations from all and all but one of the groups of carcasses, respectively. Of the IAC-positive preparations in each group, between 6 and 54% were positive for IS900, and between 4 and 20% were positive for F57. When preparations were tested by single stage, quantitative PCR procedures, IS900 was detected in two samples but F57 was detected in none. The MAP DNA on carcasses was probably derived from small numbers of MAP from the environment that contaminated the animals' hides.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2008 · International Journal of Food Microbiology
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