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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONTROL OF PATHOGENIC AND SPOILAGE BACTERIA ON RED MEAT

Location: Meat Safety & Quality Research

Title: Effects of a Minimal Hide Wash Cabinet on the Levels and Prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella on the Hides of Beef Cattle at Slaughter

Authors
item Arthur, Terrance
item Bosilevac, Joseph
item Harhay, Dayna
item Kalchayanand, Norasak
item Shackelford, Steven
item Wheeler, Tommy
item Koohmaraie, Mohammad

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 19, 2007
Publication Date: June 1, 2007
Citation: Arthur, T.M., Bosilevac, J.M., Brichta-Harhay, D.M., Kalchayanand, N., Shackelford, S.D., Wheeler, T.L., Koohmaraie, M. 2007. Effects of a Minimal Hide Wash Cabinet on the Levels and Prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella on the Hides of Beef Cattle at Slaughter. Journal of Food Protection 70:1076-1079.

Interpretive Summary: Escherichia coli O157:H7 on the hides of animals at slaughter has been shown to be the main source of contamination of beef carcasses during processing. In light of this finding, interventions have been designed and implemented to target the hides of cattle following entry into beef processing plants. Previous interventions targeting the hide have not been suitable for all beef processing plants to implement due to cost and space restrictions. This report details the evaluation of a hide wash cabinet that may be more suitable to wide spread usage in the beef processing industry especially for small and medium sized plants. Overall, 35.1% of beef cattle hides sampled prior to the hide wash cabinet harbored E. coli O157:H7 at high levels. Following passage through the hide wash cabinet, only 13.2% of hides had E. coli O157:H7 at high levels. These same trends also were found for Salmonella levels before and after hide washing. Although pathogen prevalence was reduced only slightly, the large reduction in numbers of bacteria on the hides results in much less carcass contamination. The results presented here provide a clear illustration that a simple, large volume hide wash cabinet is effective and gives small and medium sized processing plants an affordable hide wash intervention.

Technical Abstract: Escherichia coli O157:H7 on the hides of animals at slaughter has been shown to be the main source of contamination of beef carcasses during processing. In light of this finding, interventions have been designed and implemented to target the hides of cattle following entry into beef processing plants. Previous interventions targeting the hide have not been suitable for all beef processing plants to implement due to cost and space restrictions. This report details the evaluation of a hide wash cabinet that may be more amenable to wide spread usage in the beef processing industry especially for small and medium sized plants. Overall, 101 of 288 (35.1%) of beef cattle hides sampled prior to the hide wash cabinet harbored E. coli O157:H7 at levels greater than or equal to the limit of detection of the enumeration assay (40 CFU/100 cm2). Following passage through the hide wash cabinet, only 38 of 288 (13.2%) hides had E. coli O157:H7 levels greater than 40 CFU/100 cm2. Before the hide wash cabinet, 50 of 288 hides harbored E. coli O157:H7 at levels above 100 CFU/100 cm2 with one sample as high as 20,000 CFU/100 cm2. In contrast, only 14 of 288 hides had E. coli O157:H7 levels above 100 CFU/100 cm2 following hide washing with the highest being 2000 CFU/100 cm2. These same trends also were found for Salmonella levels before and after hide washing. The results presented here provide a clear illustration that the hide wash cabinet described is effective and gives small and medium sized processing plants an affordable hide wash intervention.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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