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Reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Normal Micro-organisms by Hot Acid Dip in Combination with Vacuum Packaging and Microwave Treatment in Meat


<p>Occurrence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in meat and other food products is undesirable. Many methods are being tested to reduce or eliminate this and other foodborne pathogens in foods. In the food microbiology laboratory at Kansas State University, Daniel Y.C. Fung and his researchers studied the combination use of hot acid dip, vacuum packaging and microwave treatment of 5lb meat blocks to reduce this pathogen. The goal is to provide a system to reduce this pathogen yet provide a packaging system that will not allow re-contamination of the meat until the meat blocks arrive at the retail store or the consumer’s home. They found that dipping a 5lb block of subprimal meat in lactic acid (a natural acid) heated to 80 degrees centigrade or 176 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 to 4 seconds, vacuum packaging the meat and then treating the meat in a microwave oven for 60 to 70 seconds will reduce 90 to 95% of the experimentally introduced Escherichia coli O157:H7 and ordinary bacteria. This treatment combination does not cause great changes in the color of the meat. Furthermore the treatment combination is simple to operate and requires low investment for the meat processors. With this new treatment combination consumers will have a higher level of assurance of the safety of the meat supply in the nation.</p>

Fung, Daniel
Kansas State University