The goal of the research is to protect consumers from chlorate residues potentially present in food animals. The proposed study will establish the chemical safety of food products from beef cattle treated with sodium chlorate.
Findings: Each year thousands of US consumers become ill because they have eaten food products that are contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. Intense efforts have been made to eliminate pathogenic organisms from beef animals before they are slaughtered and to remove contamination after slaughter. A new pre-harvest food safety strategy has been developed that has been shown to greatly reduce, or even eliminate gram-negative pathogens from live cattle. Use of this new feed additive has not yet been approved by regulatory organizations because it is not known whether residues present in edible tissues of treated animals would represent a health risk. The purpose of this study was to quantify residues of a novel chlorate based feed additive in edible tissues of beef animals. For all of the doses tested, chlorate residues in liver, kidney, muscle, and fat fell well below amounts that the FDA have estimated to be safe. The major metabolite of chlorate was chloride, a nutrient already present in almost all human food sources. Further research on the chlorate-based product is warranted because it could have a significant impact on lowering the incidence of harmful bacteria on meat products.