Chlorate Compound Found to Quell Microbes in Meat
Animals By Alfredo Flores October 31, 2006
A patented compound developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists could help reduce the risk
of Salmonella and Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection from meat or
Researchers led by microbiologist
Anderson at the ARS Food and Feed Safety Research Unit (FFSRU)
in College Station, Texas, mixed a chlorate-based compound into livestock feed
or water two days before slaughter. When fed at roughly 0.5 to 5 percent of an
animals diet, this powder-like additive was very effective in reducing
Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 in the animal's gastrointestinal
In studies with cattle, levels fell from 100,000 E. coli cells
per gram of fecal material to 100 cells per gram. Anderson's team obtained
similar results in reducing the amount of E. coli and Salmonella
bacteria in tests with 100 swine and 100 sheep.
To test the chlorate compound in poultry, FFSRU microbiologist
Byrd gave it to more than 200 market-age turkeys and 2,000 broiler chickens
48 hours before they went to processing. The incidence of Salmonella
dropped from 35 percent to zero in turkeys, and from 37 percent to 2 percent in
Anderson developed this experimental chlorate five years ago, at the
urging of the National Cattlemens Beef
Association, which supports research on novel ways to reduce E. coli
and other problematic microbes in beef. The swine research was financially
supported with funding from the National Pork
ARS has patented the technology, and FFSRU researchers are working to
further develop it to make it ready for approval by regulatory agencies.
more about this and other ARS food safety research in the October 2006
issue of Agricultural Research magazine.
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agricultures chief scientific research agency.