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Validation of Trichloromelamine (TCM) as an Effective Hide Wash Technology


The reduction of E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella spp. in both pre- and post-harvest areas
continues to be a major goal of the beef industry. It has been demonstrated that cattle hides are
the major source of contamination in processing plants. <P>The reduction of E. coli O157:H7 and
Salmonella spp. on cattle hides will go a long way in ensuring the safety of the beef supply.
Researchers and beef packers/processors have addressed beef safety concerns by developing a
variety of methods that are now implemented, or are being further developed, to reduce numbers
of bacteria on beef and beef products and improve microbiological safety. These
microbiological decontamination technologies include:
� Animal cleaning;
� Chemical dehairing at slaughter;
� Spot-cleaning of carcasses by knife-trimming or steam/hot water vacuuming; and
� Spraying/washing/rinsing of carcasses before evisceration and/or before chilling, with
water, chemical solutions and/or steam or hot water.
<P>The most commonly used decontamination strategies involve the use of water and steam at
various temperatures and spray pressures. Other decontamination strategies involve the use of
FDA-approved chemicals applied through water-based sprays. The objectives of this study were,
1) to determine the timing and quantity of Trichloromelamine that is most effective in reducing
E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella spp. on cattle hides (post-harvest) and 2) validate the
effectiveness of Trichloromelamine in a commercial processing facility.

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Findings: When cattle leave the farm or feedlot for the abattoir, they will carry a large population of microorganisms within their intestinal tract (Korsak et al., 1997). These organisms contaminate the hide through fecal contaminated transportation systems and the processing environments (Grau, 1987; Hancock et al., 1997). Unfortunately, contact of the carcass by the hide surface is virtually unavoidable. To limit contamination by transference from hide to carcass, care is taken to prevent or limit direct contact of the outer hide with exposed tissues during removal (Grau, 1987). However, this proves a difficult task, and when contact occurs it allows for a broad range of microorganisms to be introduced onto the carcass. The contaminating microorganisms on beef carcasses are almost always derived from the animal�s pre-slaughter hide (Bell, 1996). In fact the National Cattlemen�s Beef Association has stated that carcass contamination from soiled hides is a priority concern for the industry (2004). As a result of these concerns, a collaboration between NCBA and Texas Tech University with the cooperation of Cargill Meat Solutions led to the development of Trichloromelamine, a non-toxic biodegradable hide wash intervention that reduces food borne pathogen on beef hides by 50%.

Miller, Mark; Brooks, Chance ; Brashears, Mindy; Blanton, Paul; Alvarado, Christine
Texas Tech University
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