Effective antimicrobial intervention strategies to reduce Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) risks associated with veal are needed. This study evaluated the efficacy of lactic acid (4.5%, pH 2.0), Citrilow (pH 1.2), and Beefxide (2.25%, pH 2.3) for reducing STEC surrogates on prerigor and chilled bob veal carcasses and monitored the effects of these interventions on chilled carcass color. Dehided bob veal carcasses were inoculated with a five-strain cocktail of rifampin-r esistant, surrogate E.coli bacteria. E. Coli surrogates were enumerated after inoculation, after water wash, after prechill carcass an timicrobial sprayapplication, after chilling for 24 h, and after postchill carcass antimicrobial spray application; carcass color was measured throughout the process. A standard carcass water wash (∼50°C) reduced the STEC surrogate population by 0.9 log CFU/cm2 (P < 0.05). All three antimicrobial sprays applied to prerigor carcasses delivered an additional ∼0.5-log reduction (P > 0.05) of the surrogates. Chilling of carcasses for 24 h reduced (P > 0.05) the surrogate population by an additional ∼0.4 log cycles. The postchill application of the antimicrobial sprays provided no further reductions. Carcass L∗, a∗, and b∗color values were not different (P < 0.05) among carcass treatments. Generally, the types and concentrations of the antimicrobial sprays evaluated herein did not negatively impact visual or instrumental color of chilled veal carcasses. This study demonstrates that warm water washing, followed by a prechill spray treatment with a low-pH chemical intervention, can effectively reduce STEC risks associated with veal carcasses; this provides processors a validated control point in slaughter operations.
- Antimicrobial interventions
- Carcass wash
- Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science