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Efficacy of bacteriophage and organic acids in decreasing STEC O157:H7 populations in beef kept under vacuum and aerobic conditions: A simulated High Event Period scenario

Shebs, E.L., Lukov, M.J., Giotto, F.M., Torres, E.S., de Mello, A.S.
Meat science 2020 v.162 pp. 108023
Escherichia coli O157, aerobic conditions, anti-infective agents, bacteriophages, beef, industry, lactic acid, peracetic acid
After High Event Periods, beef subprimals are usually removed from vacuum and treated with antimicrobials. After re-packaging, subprimals are tested to verify the presence of STEC. In this study, bacteriophage and organic acids were applied on beef contaminated with STEC O157:H7 to evaluate the efficiency of industry practices. Beef samples inoculated with STEC were treated with bacteriophage, lactic acid, and peroxyacetic acid and kept under vacuum or aerobic conditions. STEC loads were evaluated 30 min and 6 h after antimicrobial applications. Under aerobic conditions for 30 min and 6 h, phage reduced STEC in beef by approximately 1.4 log whereas organic acids led to a 0.5 log reduction. Under vacuum for 30 min, bacteriophage significantly reduced STEC by 1 log. No effects were observed when samples were treated with organic acids. Under vacuum after 6 h, bacteriophage reduced STEC loads by 1.4 log, lactic acid reduced by 0.6 log, and no effects were observed when peroxyacetic acid was applied.