Research – Attachment of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) to Pre-Chill and Post-Chill Beef Brisket Tissue

MDPI

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) has caused numerous foodborne illness outbreaks where beef was implicated as the contaminated food source. Understanding how STEC attach to beef surfaces may inform effective intervention applications at the abattoir. This simulated meat processing conditions to measure STEC attachment to adipose and lean beef tissue. Beef brisket samples were warmed to a surface temperature of 30 °C (warm carcass), while the remaining samples were maintained at 4 °C (cold carcass), prior to surface inoculation with an STEC cocktail (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O145, and O157:H7). Cocktails were grown in either tryptic soy broth (TSB) or M9 minimal nutrient medium. Loosely and firmly attached cells were measured at 0, 3, 5, and 20 min and 1, 3, 8, 12, 24 and 48 h. TSB-grown STEC cells became more firmly attached throughout storage and a difference in loosely versus firmly attached populations on lean and adipose tissues was observed. M9-grown STEC demonstrated a 0.2 log10 CFU/cm2 difference in attachment to lean versus adipose tissue and variability in populations was recorded throughout sampling. Future research should investigate whether a decrease in intervention efficacy correlates to an increase in firmly attached STEC cells on chilled carcasses and/or subprimals, which has been reported. View Full-Text

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