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An Evaluation of the Ability of Commercial Carcass Washing Cabinets to Remove Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP) From Beef Carcasses

Investigators
Tatum, J. Daryl; Sofos, John; Smith, Gary; Scanga, John; Belk, Keith
Institutions
Colorado State University
Start date
2005
End date
2006
Objective
Determine the effectiveness of commercial spray washing systems to remove central nervous system tissue (CNS) from beef carcasses.
More information
Findings: To determine the efficacy of commercial carcass wash cabinets, 100cm2 swab samples were collected using templates from the aitch bone and 4th thoracic vertebra of carcasses before and after the final carcass wash at five commercial beef packing facilities. Samples were collected from the aitch bone because previous research has shown that GFAP material is cross-contaminated at low levels from the carcass splitting saw. In this study, only 6% of samples tested positive for GFAP on the aitch bone; whereas, a higher level of GFAP contamination (69%) was found on the vertebral column. This higher level of GFAP contamination on the vertebral column was expected because the carcass splitting process redistributes GFAP material, unique to the carcass being split, on the vertebral column. Samples were collected from the 4th thoracic vertebra to determine if carcass wash cabinets rinse away GFAP material not removed during the slaughter process. GFAP levels on the 4th thoracic vertebra were significantly reduced (P < 0.05) by final carcass wash cabinets in 3 of 5 plants. GFAP positive samples on the aitch bone were reduced in 2 of five plants and were zero both before and after in one plant.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Cattlemen's Beef Assoc.
Project number
BC-2005-11
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Prevention and Control