ABSTRACT

A study was conducted to compare the efficacy of a commercially available sulfuric acid–sodium sulfate blend (SSS) and lactic acid (LA) in reducing inoculated Salmonella populations on beef. Sixty pieces of prerigor beef carcass surface brisket tissue, collected directly from the processing line of a commercial beef processing plant, were cut into two sections (10 by 10 cm each) and spot inoculated (6 to 7 log CFU/cm2) on the adipose side with a six-strain mixture of Salmonella. One section per piece of brisket tissue was left untreated (control), while the second section was spray treated (5 s, 15 lb/in2, and 33 mL/s flow rate) with unheated (21°C) or heated (52°C) solutions of SSS (pH 1.1) or LA (4%). Unheated and heated SSS lowered (P < 0.05) total bacterial counts from 6.3 to 4.6 and 4.3 log CFU/cm2, respectively. Likewise, unheated and heated LA reduced (P < 0.05) total bacterial counts from 6.3 to 4.7 and 4.4 log CFU/cm2, respectively. Initial counts of inoculated Salmonella populations (6.1 to 6.2 log CFU/cm2) were reduced (P < 0.05) to 4.2 and 3.9 log CFU/cm2 following treatment with unheated and heated SSS, respectively, and to 3.7 and 3.8 log CFU/cm2 after treatment with unheated and heated LA, respectively. Overall, the temperature of the chemical solutions had a small (0.3 log CFU/cm2), but significant (P < 0.05), effect on total bacterial counts but not (P > 0.05) on Salmonella counts. Regardless of solution temperature, Salmonella counts for LA-treated samples were 0.3 log CFU/cm2 lower (P < 0.05) than those of samples treated with SSS. These results indicate that both unheated and heated solutions of SSS and LA are effective interventions for reducing Salmonella contamination on prerigor beef carcass surface tissue.

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