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Reduction of Bacterial Populations on Beef Heads, Tongues and Three Variety Meats Originating From Beef Heads/Tongues


<p>This study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of the CHAD washing and organic acid spray assemblies for beef heads and tongues in reducing bacterial contamination on beef cheek meat, tongue, and lips. Excision samples were collected from cheek meat on heads, from tongues, and from the resulting variety meats at four processing sites over a two-day period, with the organic acid portion of the CHAD washing assembly being in operation only on Day 2. Samples were cultured and analyzed for Aerobic Plate Counts (APC) and generic Escherichia coli Counts (ECC). The wash cabinet assembly was effective in reducing, dramatically, the number of samples testing positive for E.coli on tongues but had little effect on ECC on cheek meat. Including a lactic acid spray (2% solution) as the final step in the head and tongue wash cabinet assembly: (1) decreased APC on cheek meat at Site 3 but not at Site 4, and (2) decreased ECC at Sites 2 and 3 for both cheek meat and tongue. However, while these reductions in bacterial contamination were statistically significant, they were not great enough to be biologically important. Based on the lack of biologically significant reductions in bacterial counts on meat subjected to organic-acid spraying, we concluded that including lactic-acid rinsing with the CHAD head and tongue washing assembly did little to improve the microbiological quality of these variety meats.</p>

Belk, Keith; Smith, Gary; Sofos, John
Colorado State University