U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version


Document Type



Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 78, No. 3, 2015, Pages 503–510


U.S. Government Work


Several antimicrobial compounds have been used in commercial meat processing plants for decontamination of pathogens on beef carcasses, but there are many commercially available, novel antimicrobial compounds that may be more effective and suitable for use in beef processing pathogen-reduction programs. Sixty-four prerigor beef flanks (cutaneous trunci) were used in a study to determine whether hypobromous acid, neutral acidified sodium chlorite, and two citric acid–based antimicrobial compounds effectively reduce seven Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serogroups and Salmonella on the surface of fresh beef. Two cocktail mixtures were inoculated onto prerigor beef flank surfaces. Cocktail mixture 1 was composed of STEC serogroups O26, O103, O111, O145, and O157; and cocktail mixture 2 was composed of STEC serogroups O45, O121, and O157 and Salmonella. The inoculated fresh beef flanks were subjected to spray treatments with four antimicrobial compounds. Following antimicrobial treatments, both control and treated fresh beef samples were either enumerated immediately or were stored for 48 h at 4˚C before enumeration. All four antimicrobial compounds caused 0.7- to 2.0-log reductions of STEC, Salmonella, aerobic plate counts, and Enterobacteriaceae. Results also indicated that the four antimicrobial compounds were as effective at reducing the six non-O157 STEC strains as they were at reducing E. coli O157:H7 on the surfaces of fresh beef. The recovery of all seven STEC strains and Salmonella in a low-inoculation study indicated that none of the four antimicrobial compounds eliminated all of the tested pathogens.