Date of this Version
Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 75, No. 5, 2012, Pages 955–958
Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella on cattle hides at slaughter are the main source of beef carcass contamination by these foodborne pathogens during processing. Hypobromous acid (HOBr) has been approved for various applications in meat processing, but the efficacy of HOBr as a hide antimicrobial has not been determined. In this study, the antimicrobial properties of HOBr were determined by spraying cattle hides at either of two concentrations, 220 or 500 ppm. Treatment of hides with 220 ppm of HOBr reduced the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 on hides from 25.3 to 10.1% (P , 0.05) and reduced the prevalence of Salmonella from 28.3 to 7.1% (P < 0.05). Treatment of hides with 500 ppm of HOBr reduced (P , 0.05) the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 on hides from 21.2 to 10.1% and the prevalence of Salmonella from 33.3 to 8.1%. The application of 220 ppm of HOBr reduced (P < 0.05) aerobic plate counts, total coliform counts, and E. coli counts on hides by 2.2 log CFU/100 cm2. The use of 500 ppm of HOBr resulted in reductions (P < 0.05) of aerobic plate counts, total coliform counts, and E. coli counts by 3.3, 3.7, and 3.8 log CFU/100 cm2, respectively, demonstrating that the use of higher concentrations of HOBr on hides resulted in additional antimicrobial activity. These results indicate that the adoption of a HOBr hide wash will reduce hide concentrations of spoilage bacteria and pathogen prevalence, resulting in a lower risk of carcass contamination.