The efficacy of a phosphoric acid–activated acidified sodium chloride (PASC) spray and a citric acid–activated acidified sodium chlorite (CASC) spray applied at room temperature (22.4 to 24.7°C) in combination with a water wash was compared with that of a water wash only treatment for reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Typhimurium inoculated onto various hot-boned individual beef carcass surface regions (inside round, outside round, brisket, flank, and clod). Initial counts of 5.5 and 5.4 log CFU/cm2 were obtained after inoculation with E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Typhimurium, respectively. Initial numbers for both pathogens were reduced by 3.8 to 3.9 log cycles by water wash followed by PASC spray and by 4.5 to 4.6 log cycles by water wash followed by CASC spray. The sprays consisted of applying 140 ml of the appropriate sanitizing solution for 10 s at 69 kPa. Corresponding reduction values obtained by water wash alone were 2.3 log. The performance of CASC appeared to be consistently better than that of PASC. In general, no effect of the carcass surface region was observed on the log reductions for either pathogen, except for the inside round, which consistently had lower reductions. Both PASC and CASC were capable of effectively reducing pathogens spread to areas beyond the initial contaminated area of the cuts to levels close to or below the counting method detection limit (0.5 log CFU/cm2). However, 30 to 50% of the carcasses treated by these antimicrobial solutions still yielded countable colonies. Results of this study indicate that acidified sodium chlorite sprays are effective for decontaminating beef carcass surfaces.

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