Efficacy of UV light, Photohydroionization® and Beefxide® on reducing Escherichia coli O157:H7 on beef trimmings used in ground beef production
Beef products are often linked to outbreaks caused by contamination of pathogenic bacteria, which besides the potential harm to consumers, generate a lot of mistrust and economic losses for several companies. In this study beef trim were inoculated with 3 streptomycin resistant Escherichia coli O157:H7 strains (922, 944 and 966) with 2 different levels of concentration cocktails (low, 3 to 3.5 log CFU/mL and high, 8 to 8.5 log CFU/mL) and treated with a combination of organic acids blend, ultraviolet lights and Photohydroionization® (PHI). All interventions were applied to meat after a first coarse grind was obtained and mixed thoroughly before the meat were finely grinded to get the final homogenized ground beef product. Samples were taken and evaluated at 4 different timepoints: Before (assess the attachment), 1 hour, 24 hours and 72 hours to evaluate if the interventions would have an immediate or delayed effect over the bacteria. Samples within same inoculation levels showed no statistical difference as far as bacterial reduction, showing that the treatments had no significant reduction effects if applied in the mixer. Its hypothesized that to be effective, the PHI delivery method cannot be incorporated in the mixer due to the short exposure time and increasing distance between the meat and the unit as the trim is ground. It is recommended that to mimic an industrial setting the trim needs to go through a tunnel with the PHI technology that allows for increased exposure before the meat is coarse and finely ground.