The influence of beef quality characteristics on the internalization and thermal susceptibility of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in blade-tenderized beef steaks


The risk of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) survival in blade-tenderized beef is a concern for beef processors. This study evaluated the internalization and post-cooking survival of individual STEC serogroups (O157:H7, O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145) in blade-tenderized beef steaks with different quality traits. Strip loins representing four combinations of USDA Quality Grade (Choice or Select) and pH category (High pH or Normal pH ) were inoculated (log CFU/cm2 attachment) with individual STEC serogroups before storage (14 d), blade tenderization, and cooking (50, 60, 71, or 85°C). Serogroup populations on raw steak surfaces and internal cores were determined. Rapid-based methods were used to detect the internal presence of STEC in cooked steaks. Internalization and post-cooking survival varied among STECs. All serogroups, except O45 and O121, were detected in the internal cores of steaks cooked to 50°C, while O103, O111, and O145 STEC were detected in steaks cooked to 50, 60, and 71°C.



Beef, Blade tenderized, Cooking, Internalization, Non-intact, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC)