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Articles by P.E. Cook
Total Records ( 16 ) for P.E. Cook
  K.L. Beers , P.E. Cook and C.W. Coleman
  The recirculation process used during the injection of whole muscle beef products with marinade solutions can allow for a buildup of naturally occurring microorganisms in the marinades throughout a production shift. This study was designed to investigate the possibility of controlling the microbial population in commercial beef marinades using ultraviolet light technology. Two separate studies were conducted in a USDA-inspected commercial beef processing plant. In both studies the FreshLight® 220 ultraviolet light system (Safe Foods Corporation, N. Little Rock, AR) was utilized to treat beef marinade solutions, during normal production and usage, at a flow rate of 20 gallons per minute and a solution turnover rate of 1 min. In the first study, the ultraviolet lights in the FreshLight® 220 system were not turned on until after 1 h of continuous operation. During this hour-long period, the marinade solution was allowed to run through the meat injector to the FreshLight® 220 system, but without ultraviolet light treatment. At the initiation of the second study, the ultraviolet lights were turned on in the FreshLight® 220 ultraviolet light system before injection started and at no time was the marinade solution untreated. In both studies, representative samples of the marinades were sampled every 10 min over a 3 h period in Study 1 and over a 3.5 h period in Study 2. All samples were microbiologically evaluated, on-site, using Aerobic Plate Count Petrifilm™3 to determine bacterial reductions over time. As would be expected, the Aerobic Plate Count increased rapidly, in linear fashion, in Study 1 where there was no ultraviolet light treatment during the first hour of production, from an initial count of 0.5 logs to 4 logs in the first hour of operation. After the ultraviolet lights were turned on, the level of organisms in the marinade remained constant at 4 logs for the next 2 h of operation. In Study 2, where the ultraviolet lights were on from the initiation of injection, the initial level of bacteria in the marinade solution was 3.5 logs. After only 40 min of operation, the bacterial level was reduced to approximately 1.3 logs where the count remained constant for the remainder of the study. Results from these studies indicate that when using ultraviolet light to control microorganisms in marinade solutions, it is critical that the ultraviolet light system be fully operational at the initiation of production and that at no time during processing should the ultraviolet lights be turned off allowing for a possible buildup of organisms in the marinade solution. In conclusion, the FreshLight® 220 ultraviolet light system offers an extremely cost effective, commercially available solution for controlling the levels of microorganisms in commercial beef marinade solutions.
  K.L. Beers , K.W. Beers and P.E. Cook
  Various types of commercially available brine solutions can become contaminated with naturally occurring microorganisms and potential pathogens during the injection process used with raw meat products. In an attempt to investigate a possible solution for this problem, samples (30 gallons each) of typical non-soy nitrite brine and soy-based brine were collected from a commercial USDA-inspected beef processing facility and were shipped overnight to MCA Services (Rogers, AR) under refrigerated conditions. Upon arrival at the laboratory, representative samples were collected from both brines and were evaluated for naturally occurring microflora using Aerobic Plate Count Petrifilm™3. The non-soy nitrite brine had an initial bacterial count of 2.3 logs per mL while the soy-based brine had an initial count of 2.1 logs per mL. Both brines were then inoculated with an overnight culture of Listeria innocua to achieve a total level of bacteria of 5.1 logs per mL for the non-soy nitrite brine and 5.3 logs per mL for the soy-based brine. Brines were thoroughly mixed for 10 mi to allow for even distribution of the inoculated organisms. After mixing, each of the brines was subjected to 30 min of treatment utilizing the FreshLight® 220 ultraviolet light system (Safe Foods Corporation, N. Little Rock, AR). The flow rate of the ultraviolet light system was 30 gallons per minute and the solution turnover time was 1 min. For the non-soy nitrite brine, there was a 1.4 log reduction (96%) in the total level of bacteria after 30 min of ultraviolet light treatment. For the soy-based brine, the microbial reduction after 30 min of ultraviolet light treatment was 2.1 logs (greater than 99%). For both brines, the reduction in bacteria over time was gradual and linear. It is hypothesized that a longer ultraviolet light exposure time of perhaps 60 min would have significantly enhanced the bacterial reductions in both of the brine solutions. In conclusion, the commercially available FreshLight® 220 ultraviolet light system offers beef processors a cost effective solution for controlling naturally occurring microorganisms and Listeria in non-soy based nitrite brines and soy-based brines.
  P.E. Cook , K.L. Beers and K.W. Beers
  A large percentage of whole muscle beef products are injected with a brine solution to improve texture and flavor. However, if not handled correctly, recirculated brine solutions can pose a potential microbiological hazard. To investigate the use of ultraviolet light for controlling this potential hazard, a sample (25 gallons) of a fresh commercial beef brine solution was collected from a USDA-inspected facility and was shipped overnight to MCA Services (Rogers, AR) under refrigerated conditions. Upon arrival at the laboratory, the brine solution was inoculated, under strict hygienic conditions, with Escherichia coli O157:H7 to a level of 5.4 logs per mL (colony forming units). The inoculated brine was passed through the FreshLight® 210 ultraviolet light system (Safe Foods Corporation, N. Little Rock, AR) for 30 min (flow rate = 10 gallons per minute and solution turnover time = 2.5 min). Samples of the inoculated brine were collected at 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 min which corresponded to 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 passes through the ultraviolet light system. Brine samples were plated on Aerobic Plate Count Petrifilm™3 to determine microbial reductions. Linear reductions in Escherichia coli O157:H7 were achieved as follows: 1.4 logs at 10 min (4 passes through the ultraviolet light system), 2.4 logs at 20 min (8 passes) and 3.2 logs at 30 min (12 passes). Thus, the FreshLight® 210 ultraviolet light system effectively reduced the Escherichia coli O157:H7 inoculum in the beef brine from 5.4 logs per mL to 2.2 logs per mL in 30 min (12 passes) resulting in an overall bacterial reduction of greater than 99.9%. Results from this trial indicate that the commercially available FreshLight® 210 ultraviolet light system can provide an effective means for controlling Escherichia coli O157:H7 in beef brine solutions at a limited cost to the processor.
  P.E. Cook , K.L. Beers , T.F. Yeaman and O. Trujillo
  During the hide removal process in beef slaughter, cross contamination of the carcass surface can occur. Most of the contamination comes from the initial cut into the carcass beginning at the bung region and extending to the neck of the carcass. As the knife penetrates the hide, bacteria can be transferred from the outside hide area to the sterile underside of the hide. It was theorized that application of an antimicrobial at this point could reduce both initial contamination and further cross-contamination during subsequent processing procedures. Hence, the objective of the following study was to determine the effects of an electrostatic spray of the Cecure® antimicrobial (Safe Foods Corporation, N. Little Rock, AR) on the natural microflora and inoculated generic Escherichia coli on beef surfaces over time. To accomplish this, five brisket samples were obtained from a local beef retailer. Each brisket contained a natural mixture of both fat and lean surfaces. Samples were transported, on ice, to MCA Services (Rogers, AR). Upon arrival at the laboratory, each of the five briskets was cut into two equal pieces with one half for the control and the other half for the Cecure® spray treatment. Each individual brisket half was inoculated (fat-side up) using a hand-held sprayer with 1,000 generic Escherichia coli cells. Cells were allowed to attach for 30 min. Control briskets halves (n = 5) did not receive any further treatment. The five brisket halves that were to be treated with the antimicrobial were placed on a wire rack and received 133 μg cetylpyridinium chloride/cm2 (using a 0.4% Cecure® solution). On Day 0, both the control and Cecure®-treated brisket halves were swabbed (Neutralizing Buffer) using a sterile template (5 x 5 cm2) Cecure®. The swabbed area was marked with red dye so that on subsequent sampling days (Days 1 to 8) the previously swabbed area would not be sampled again. Each brisket was then placed on a large sterile plastic tray which was placed in a sterile plastic bag. All samples were held at 40°. All microbiological samples were analyzed in Butterfield’s Phosphate Diluent using Aerobic Plate Count and EC Petrifilm™3. On Day 0, there was a 2.4 log reduction in Aerobic Plate Count (from 4.5 to 2.1 logs) and a 1.1 log reduction in Escherichia coli (from 2.3 to 1.2 logs) on the Cecure®-treated briskets. The initial log reductions in both groups of organisms remained consistent throughout the remainder of the shelf-life period. The control brisket halves reached spoilage levels (107 colony forming units per cm2) by Day 4 whereas the treated brisket halves did not reach spoilage levels until Day 7. The slope and shape of the control and Cecure®-treated microbial growth curves were identical indicating that the increase in product shelf-life was due to the initial reduction in microorganisms (specifically Aerobic Plate Count) on the day of treatment (Day 0) and that there was no continued technical effect during the shelf-life period. The level of Escherichia coli on the brisket halves remained fairly constant throughout the refrigerated storage period as would be expected. But, as previously mentioned, the level of Escherichia coli on the Cecure®-treated brisket halves was reduced by greater than 1 log on the day of treatment (Day 0) and remained 1 log lower than the level on the control brisket halves throughout the remainder of the study. In conclusion, the application of 0.4% Cecure® via an electrostatic spray treatment is an effective means for lowering the Aerobic Plate Count and Escherichia coli levels on raw beef briskets resulting in control of potential pathogens and increased product shelf-life.
  P.E. Cook , K.L. Beers and C.W. Coleman
  The USDA/FSIS compliance guidelines will be initiating a regulation that will require a critical control point to be implemented on beef primal and/or sub-primal processing lines. The objective of the following study was to evaluate the microbial efficacy of Citrilow™ (an acid-based product marketed by Safe Foods Corporation, N. Little Rock, AR) for reducing contamination of Escherichia coli O157:H7 on beef primal and sub-primal pieces before they are cut for commercial sale. The goal was to achieve at least a 1 log reduction in the organism of concern, Escherichia coli O157:H7. Twenty whole beef primals were obtained from a local beef processing plant and were transported on ice to MCA Services (Rogers, AR). Upon arrival at the laboratory, the primals were removed from their wrapping material and were placed on a wire rack with the meat-side facing up. Each primal was cut into three, 5 inch by 5 inch pieces, for a total of 60 samples. After cutting, the samples were placed individually in large sterile holding bags and were held at 40° F for 4 h. Each of the 60 meat samples was then removed from the refrigeration unit and from their sterile bags. Samples were then placed, cut-side down, on a sanitized wire rack. The top, uncut surface of each sample was inoculated with 10,000 cells of Escherichia coli O157:H7 by inoculating 100 μL of a previously enumerated inoculum onto 10 different areas of each individual meat sample. The inoculum was allowed to attach for 20 min. The 60 inoculated samples were then randomly divided into three groups of 20 samples each. One group served as a control to which no further treatment was implemented. The second group was treated with a room temperature water spray for 5 sec at a rate of 0.5 gallons/hour. The third group of samples was sprayed at a rate of 0.5 gallons/hour for 5 sec with Citrilow™ (pH = 1.3). All groups were allowed to sit undisturbed for 2 min and were then microbiologically sampled using sterile SpongeSicles™3 moistened in Butterfield’s Phosphate Diluent. SpongeSicles™ were broken off into 25 mL of Butterfield’s Phosphate Diluent. All samples were serially diluted and enumerated for Escherichia coli O157:H7 on SOBA4 plates. The control group of primals that received no treatment had a log Escherichia coli count of 3.9; the water only treatment group had a log count of 3.8 and the Citrilow™-treated group of primals had a significantly lower log count of 2.8. Thus, the goal of the study was accomplished, in that a greater than 1 log reduction in Escherichia coli O157:H7 was achieved. Therefore, the USDA-approved (USDA 7120 Suitable Ingredients List), commercially available and very cost effective Citrilow™ antimicrobial can be utilized as an effective antimicrobial to control Escherichia coli O157:H7 on beef primals.
  K.L. Beers , P.E. Cook and C.W. Coleman
  Currently the Citrilow™ antimicrobial (Safe Foods Corporation, N. Little Rock, AR) is utilized by the beef industry for treatment of product immediately before the injection machines. Citrilow™ is USDA-approved within a pH range of 0.5 to 2.0 (USDA 7120 Suitable Ingredients List). The objective of the following study was to evaluate Citrilow™, at two pH values, for use as a spray for sub-primals. To accomplish this, three whole brisket sub-primals were purchased from a local grocery store and were transported on ice to MCA Services (Rogers, AR). Upon arrival at the laboratory, the briskets were cut into 15 samples with each sample being 3 inches by 3 inches. A set of five of the brisket samples was placed on a wire rack and the surface of each piece was swabbed (controls). The brisket samples were turned over and sprayed for 5 sec with Citrilow™ (pH = 1.5) using a hand-held pump sprayer. The sprayed pieces were allowed to drain for 30 sec and were then swabbed using SpongeSiclesTM3 moistened in Butterfield’s Phosphate Diluent. A second set of five samples were placed on a wire rack and again the first side of the brisket was swabbed as a control. The samples were then turned over and sprayed for 5 sec with Citrilow™ (pH = 2.0) using a hand-held pump sprayer. A third set of five samples was used as another control but this time the brisket pieces were sprayed with tap water for 5 sec using a hand-held sprayer. All samples were microbiologically evaluated in Butterfield’s Phosphate Diluent for Aerobic Plate Count using Petrifilm™4. In addition, all samples were evaluated for any adverse sensory characteristics. The log Aerobic Plate Count for the first control was 3.7 while the Aerobic Plate Count for the brisket samples sprayed with Citrilow™ (pH = 1.5) was 1.9 logs (a 98.5% reduction). The log Aerobic Plate Count for the second control was 3.8 while the Aerobic Plate Count for the brisket samples sprayed with Citrilow™ (pH = 2.0) was 3.5 logs (a 50% reduction). The log Aerobic Plate Count for the water-sprayed control samples was 3.8; thus, the water itself did not reduce the bacterial load. There were no adverse sensory issues noted at the conclusion of the study. The results from this study demonstrate that a Citrilow™ spray at a pH of 1.5 is a very effective antimicrobial agent for beef sub-primals. In addition, Citrilow™ is commercially available, extremely cost effective and does not alter the organoleptic properties of the meat.
  C. Hawk , P.E. Cook , K.L. Beers , J.W. Rheingans and S.R. Barclay
  The objective of the following study was to determine the microbial efficacy of two methods of application for a post-chill Precure™ (Safe Foods Corporation, N. Little Rock, AR) treatment for broiler carcasses. Precure™ is listed as a solution of GRAS acids for use by FDA and is listed as a safe and suitable ingredient by USDA for use on poultry. Two separate studies were conducted. In the first study, a dip application was evaluated. In the second study, Precure™ was applied as a spray. For both studies, post-chill carcasses were obtained from a local USDA-inspected broiler processing facility and were transported on ice to MCA Services (Rogers, AR). In the first study in which a Precure™ dip treatment was evaluated, 30 carcasses were randomly divided into three groups of ten carcasses each. In this dip study there was a control group (n=10) and two replicate treatment groups (n=10 per group). The 30-second Precure™ dip was at room temperature and the pH was 2.5. Carcasses were allowed to drain for 5 seconds after the dip. In the second study where a Precure™ spray application was evaluated, there were 10 control carcasses and 10 sprayed carcasses. The Precure™ spray was targeted at four areas of the carcass including the front, the back, the neck and the body cavity. Each targeted area received approximately 25 mL of Precure™ spray resulting in the use of 100 mL of Precure™ per carcass. In the spray study, the pH of the Precure™ solution was 1.5 and carcasses were allowed to drain for 5 seconds after spraying. In both studies, all control and treated carcasses were individually bagged in sterile poultry rinse bags and were held at 40o F until microbiological testing was initiated (< 4 hours). All carcasses were evaluated as per USDA/FSIS standard laboratory procedures for Aerobic Plate Count, coliform count and Escherichia coli using Petrifilm™3 with Butterfield’s Phosphate Diluent as the rinse solution. The lower detection level for all groups of organisms was 1 colony forming unit per mL. The results from the post-chill Precure™ (pH = 2.5) dip application revealed a 2.2 to 2.3 log reduction in Aerobic Plate Count, a 0.8 to 1.0 log reduction in coliforms and a 0.7 to 0.8 log reduction in E. coli. The results from the post-chill Precure™ (pH = 1.5) spray application indicated a 1.2 log reduction in Aerobic Plate Count, a 1.4 log reduction in coliforms, and a 1.2 log reduction in E. coli. In the Precure™ dip study, the Aerobic Plate Count was reduced from 3.4 to 1.1 logs, coliforms from 1.0 to < 0.2 logs and E. coli from 0.8 to < 0.2 logs. In the Precure™ spray study, the Aerobic Plate Count was reduced from 3.8 to 2.6 logs, coliform from 1.5 to 0.5 logs and E. coli from 1.3 to 0.05 logs. In conclusion, the post-chill application of Precure™ as a 30-second whole carcass dip (pH = 2.5) or as a 100 mL whole carcass spray (pH = 1.5) offers the manufacturer an FDA- and USDA-approved as well as a very cost effective means of controlling microorganisms on processed poultry.
  K.L. Beers , R.A. Baker , P.E. Cook and S.R. Barclay
  In 1993, the USDA approved the use of on-line reprocessing which allows poultry carcasses that are accidentally contaminated, during the evisceration process, with digestive tract contents to remain on the processing line if an approved antimicrobial process is in place. Prior to allowance for on-line reprocessing, contaminated carcasses had to be transferred to a salvage line where they were manually rinsed and cleaned with chlorinated water. In accordance with USDA guidelines, all on-line reprocessing procedures must result in pre-chill poultry carcasses of equal or improved microbiological quality in comparison to carcasses that are visibly clean. The objective of the following study was to demonstrate the efficacy of the Precure™ (Safe Foods Corporation, N. Little Rock, AR) antimicrobial as an effective on-line reprocessing treatment. Precure™ is listed as a solution of GRAS acids for use by FDA and is listed as a safe and suitable ingredient by USDA for use on poultry. In this study, fully automated Precure™ application systems were installed in three USDA-inspected broiler processing facilities. Visibly clean, uncontaminated carcasses (control group) and visibly contaminated Precure™-treated (pH = 1.5) carcasses were sampled (400 mL Butterfield’s Phosphate Diluent) on-site prior to immersion chilling and were shipped on ice and overnight to MCA Services (Rogers, AR) for microbiological evaluation. Upon arrival at the laboratory (< 48 hours after collection), all samples were evaluated in accordance with USDA/FSIS laboratory procedures for Aerobic Plate Count, coliforms and Escherichia coli using Petrifilm™3. The lower detection level for all groups of organisms was 1 colony forming unit per mL. There were no differences in the levels of any of the groups of organisms between the control group (visibly clean, uncontaminated, n=345) and the visibly contaminated carcasses that had been treated with Precure™ on-line (n=354). The mean bacterial counts for the two groups of carcasses (control vs. Precure™-treated on-line reprocessed) were as follows: 3.7 vs. 3.6 logs for Aerobic Plate Count, 2.4 vs. 2.4 logs for coliforms and 2.4 vs. 2.3 logs for E. coli. Thus, in three commercially operated USDA-inspected broiler processing plants, the Precure™ antimicrobial treatment was microbiologically effective, and subsequently approved by the USDA, for the on-line reprocessing of broilers in poultry slaughter facilities nationwide. These studies clearly demonstrate that the Precure™ antimicrobial is a very effective and low cost means for the on-line reprocessing of broilers.
  P.E. Cook and K.L. Beers
  The objective of the following study was to evaluate the microbial efficacy of a Precure™ (Safe Foods Corporation, N. Little Rock, AR) dip (3 vs. 30 seconds) treatment (pH = 1.5) for further processed broiler parts including wings, leg quarters and breast halves. Precure™ is listed as a solution of GRAS acids for use by FDA and is listed as a safe and suitable ingredient by USDA for use on poultry. This study was conducted in response to the request by several poultry companies for a means to increase the shelf-life of further processed broiler parts. Therefore, 60 post-chill broiler carcasses were obtained from a local USDA-inspected poultry processing facility and were transported on ice to MCA Services (Rogers, AR). Upon arrival at the laboratory, the carcasses were held under refrigerated conditions (40 to 42oF) for 24 hours to simulate transport to a further processing (cut-up) facility. After the 24-hour refrigerated hold period, the 60 carcasses were each manually cut into six pieces including two wings, two leg quarters and two breast halves. The cut-up parts were then randomly divided into three groups including a control and two treatment groups. Within each treatment group a pair of wings, a pair of leg quarters or a pair of breast halves served as an individual sample. Thus, there were 20 samples for each of the three carcass parts within each of the three treatment groups. The treatment groups included the control which received no further treatment, a group which was subjected to a 3-second room temperature dip in Precure™ (pH = 1.5) and a group which was subjected to a 30-second room temperature dip in Precure™ (pH = 1.5). Parts in both of the dip treatments were allowed to drain for 30 seconds after dipping. All samples (two wings, two leg quarters or two breast halves) were placed into sterile poultry rinse bags and were then held refrigerated at 40oF until microbiological evaluation was initiated (< 4 hours). The rinse fluid (100 mL Butterfield’s Phosphate Diluent) from the samples was evaluated for Aerobic Plate Count using Petrifilm™3 in accordance with USDA/FSIS standard laboratory procedures. The lower detection level was 1 colony forming unit per mL. All dipped parts were also observed for organoleptic properties and no negative qualities were observed. The Aerobic Plate Counts for the control parts were 2.0 logs (wings), 2.4 logs (leg quarters) and 1.9 logs (breast halves). The group that was subjected to the 3-second Precure™ dip had Aerobic Plate Count values of 0.5 logs (wings), 0.3 logs (leg quarters) and 0.9 logs (breast halves). There was no recovery of Aerobic Plate Count from parts that were subjected to the 30-second dip in Precure™. Thus, the 3-second dip in Precure™ resulted in Aerobic Plate Count reductions of > 97% for wings, > 99% for leg quarters and > 89% for breast halves while the 30-second dip in Precure™ allowed for no recovery of organisms. Results from this study clearly demonstrate that the use of Precure™ (pH = 1.5) as a dip treatment (3 to 30 seconds) for poultry parts will significantly improve the microbiological properties of poultry parts without adversely affecting the sensory attributes. Thus, the commercially available Precure™ treatment provides the processor with a very economical means of controlling the microbiological properties, and possibly extending the shelf-life, of further processed poultry parts.
  P.E. Cook , K.L. Beers , S.R. Barclay and C. Hawk
  The USDA has strict regulations regarding the incidence of Salmonella on post-chill poultry. The poultry industry is encouraged to use USDA-approved methods for controlling Salmonella and other potential pathogens on processed poultry. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the antimicrobial effects of a post-chill Precure™ (Safe Foods Corporation, N. Little Rock, AR) treatment (pH = 1.5) on the levels of Salmonella on broiler carcasses. Precure™ is listed as a solution of GRAS acids for use by FDA and is listed as a safe and suitable ingredient by USDA for use on poultry. In this study, broiler carcasses (n=30) were obtained from a local USDA-inspected poultry processing facility and were transported on ice to MCA Services (Rogers, AR). Immediately upon arrival at the laboratory, all carcasses were individually inoculated with approximately 350 cells of Salmonella to assure that all carcasses in the study would be contaminated with Salmonella. The Salmonella culture was enumerated the day prior to the study to determine the approximate number of cells that would be inoculated onto the surface of each carcass. After inoculation, the carcasses were allowed to sit undisturbed for 30 minutes to allow for bacterial attachment. The 30 carcasses were then randomly divided into two groups. Fifteen of the carcasses were used as a control and were not treated. The remaining 15 carcasses were subjected to a room temperature 30-second dip in Precure™ (pH = 1.5) followed by a 30-second drip period. All carcasses were individually bagged in sterile poultry rinse bags and were held at 40oF for 4 hours. Carcasses were then subjected to a whole carcass rinse in accordance with USDA/FSIS standard laboratory procedures in Butterfield’s Phosphate Diluent. The resulting rinse fluid was microbiologically evaluated using Aerobic Plate Count Petrifilm™3 for enumeration (colony forming units per mL) and the BAX®4 System PCR assay for presence or absence of Salmonella. As would be expected, all carcasses (100%) were positive for Salmonella in the control group while in the Precure™-treated group only 40% of the carcasses were Salmonella positive. The average level of total organisms using Petrifilm™ was 2.6 logs for the control group and 1.3 logs for the Precure™-treated group (95% reduction). It should be noted that Petrifilm™ would not only recover the inoculated Salmonella culture but also any indigenous organisms that may have been present. Results from this study demonstrate that the commercially available Precure™ (pH = 1.5) solution can be used as a post-chill treatment to control the incidence and levels of Salmonella and other naturally occurring microorganisms on broiler carcasses.
  K.L. Beers , R.A. Baker and P.E. Cook
  The objective of the following study was to evaluate the most efficacious pH for treatment of post-chill, cleaned broiler paws with the Precure™ (Safe Foods Corporation, N. Little Rock, AR) antimicrobial. Precure™ is listed as a solution of GRAS acids for use by FDA and is listed as a safe and suitable ingredient by USDA for use on poultry. This study was done at the request of a poultry processor who was being asked by the customer to adhere to strict microbial standards for poultry paws. Thus, a bag of randomly collected, chilled and cleaned paws was obtained from a local broiler processing facility and was transported on ice to MCA Services (Rogers, AR). Upon arrival at the laboratory, the bag of paws was held frozen (< 28oF) for 2 days and was then tempered (40 to 42oF) for two days prior to initiation of the study. For the experiment, there was a control group and three treatment groups. The control group and each of the three treatment groups consisted of three replicate samples (n=3). Each replicate sample consisted of three randomly selected paws. Thus, a treatment group consisted of a total of nine paws. The three treatment groups evaluated were Precure™ at pH=1.5, Precure™ at pH=1.7 and Precure™ at pH=1.85. For treatment of the product, the nine paws for each treatment group were placed on a wire rack and were allowed to touch and overlap as would be typical in a processing environment. Each treatment group of paws was sprayed with the appropriate Precure™ treatment at 20 mL per second for 5 seconds. Thus, each group of nine paws was sprayed with 100 mL of the appropriate Precure™ treatment solution. The sprayed paws were then allowed to drain for 10 seconds. After draining, paws were placed three to a bag in sterile rinse bags and were held at 40oF for < 4 hours until initiation of the microbiological analyses. Each sample was evaluated for Aerobic Plate Count, coliforms and Escherichia coli, as well as for presence or absence of Salmonella in accordance with USDA/FSIS standard laboratory procedures using 100 mL Butterfield’s Phosphate Diluent. Petrifilm™3 was utilized for enumeration of organisms and Salmonella incidence was determined using the BAX®4 System PCR assay. The lower detection level for all quantified groups of organisms was 1 colony forming unit per mL. The control group of paws had an Aerobic Plate Count of 4.3 logs, a coliform count of 1.6 logs and an E. coli count of 1.6 logs. Two of the three control groups of paws were positive for Salmonella. Log reductions in Aerobic Plate Count were 0.3, 0.2 and 0.6 for the Precure™ treatments at pH = 1.85, 1.7 and 1.5, respectively. Reductions in coliform levels were 0.1, 0.2 and 0.4 logs at pH=1.85, 1.7 and 1.5, respectively. The reduction in E. coli was log 0.2 for all pH treatment groups. It should be noted that the control level of E. coli was only 0.2 logs, thus all treatment groups resulted in no recovery of E. coli. As for Salmonella incidence, 0 of 3 samples was positive in the Precure™ pH=1.85 group, and 1 of 3 samples was positive in both the pH=1.7 and pH=1.5 treatment groups. Results from these trials indicate that a Precure™ spray at pH=1.5 is the most effective Precure™ treatment for reduction and elimination of microorganisms on chilled, cleaned broiler paws. However, it should be noted that microbial reductions were not greatly enhanced by lowering the pH of the Precure™ treatment from 1.85 to 1.5. In summary, effective application of Precure™ to broiler paws can provide the processor with an approved and very economical means of controlling spoilage and potentially pathogenic microorganisms.
  R.A. Baker , K.L. Beers , P.E. Cook and B.A. Smith
  The objective of the following study was to determine if a post-chill whole carcass Cecure® (Safe Foods Corporation, N. Little Rock, AR) treatment (0.3% @ 0.5 gallon/carcass) would extend the shelf-life of various further processed broiler products which were produced from Cecure®-treated whole carcasses. Cecure® is an FDA and USDA/FSIS approved, patented formulation containing the active ingredient cetylpyridinium chloride. Cecure® is approved by FDA and USDA/FSIS for application to pre-immersion chilled, post-immersion chilled and air-chilled whole carcasses and to skin-on carcass parts. For this study, a commercially available, fully automated, post-chill Cecure® rinse cabinet was installed and operated in a USDA-inspected broiler processing facility several months prior to initiation of the study. On the day the shelf-life study was to be conducted, a single flock of birds was utilized. Control samples were collected during a 2-hour period prior to turning on the Cecure® post-chill whole carcass system. Six different types of broiler products were collected for evaluation including boneless skinless breast meat, thighs, wings, split breasts, leg quarters and whole carcasses. After all control samples were collected (n=70 per product type) the Cecure® system was turned on and allowed to run for 2 hours after which similar product samples were collected for products produced from Cecure®-treated whole carcasses. All broiler parts were tray-packed and whole carcasses were bagged individually. On Day 0, all samples were held at 28o F for approximately 6 hours after which they were held at 32oF for 3 days. For the remainder of the study, all samples were held at 34oF. On Days 0, 5 and 10 and Days 14 through 22, each of the six product types was microbiologically evaluated using Aerobic Plate Count Petrifilm™3 until the products were considered spoiled (7 logs colony forming units per mL). Regardless of product type, the Cecure® whole carcass post-chill treatment (0.3%) resulted in initial reductions in Aerobic Plate Count on Day 0 from 0.5 to > 1 log. These initial Day 0 microbial reductions led to increases in product shelf-life as follows: boneless skinless breast meat and whole carcasses (1.5-day extension), thighs, split breasts and wings (2-day extension) and leg quarters (1-day extension). It should be noted that the slope and the shape of the bacterial growth curves for all Cecure®-treated products were almost identical to those for the control products with the exception of a lower initial (Day 0) level of bacteria; hence, increasing the days to spoilage without a delayed technical effect. The results from this study demonstrate that the use of a post-chill Cecure® whole carcass rinse treatment (0.3%) will significantly improve the shelf-life of whole carcasses and corresponding cut-up broiler parts including boneless skinless breast meat, thighs, wings, split breasts and leg quarters.
  K.L. Beers , K.W. Beers , P.E. Cook , S.R. Barclay and C.W. Coleman
  The recirculation of marinade used in commercial poultry injection applications can pose a microbiological concern if not handled properly. In an attempt to solve this problem, a spent sample (30 gallons) of a typical poultry marinade was collected after production from a USDA-inspected poultry facility and was shipped overnight to MCA Services (Rogers, AR) under refrigerated conditions. The solution was microbiologically evaluated for natural microflora and had an existing Aerobic Plate Count (using APC Petrifilm™3) of 5.5 logs per mL (colony forming units). Three trials were conducted with the FreshLight® 210 ultraviolet light system (Safe Foods Corporation, N. Little Rock, AR) using three different flow rates and corresponding solution turnover times to determine the optimum flow rate (and turnover time) for microbial control. The three flow rates were 10, 20 and 30 gallons per minute with corresponding solution turnover times of approximately 3, 1.5 and 1 minutes. As solution turnover rate decreased (from 3 minutes to 1 minute), the time necessary to achieve a 1 log microbial reduction (90% reduction) decreased from 9 minutes at a turnover rate of 3 minutes to 7.5 minutes at a turnover rate of 2 minutes and to approximately 5 minutes at a turnover rate of 1 minute. Regardless of flow rate or solution turnover time, the total bacterial count in the marinade solution was effectively reduced by approximately 1 log in less than 10 minutes of operational time with the FreshLight® 210 ultraviolet light system. These trials clearly demonstrate that the commercially available FreshLight® 210 ultraviolet light system (FDA regulated under 21 CFR 179.39) can provide the manufacturer with an effective means of controlling the microbial load in poultry marinade solutions at a very low cost. The data also suggest that as solution turnover rate decreases the time necessary to effectively reduce bacterial levels decreases but that this difference is not substantial in regards to actual time in minutes between normal operational flow rates of 10 to 30 gallons per minute.
  P.E. Cook , K.L. Beers and K.W. Beers
  The possibility of the presence of Listeria in marinade solutions poses a threat to the safety of injected poultry products. Thus, a sample (25 gallons) of a fresh poultry marinade was collected from a USDA-inspected poultry processing facility and was shipped overnight to MCA Services (Rogers, AR) under refrigerated conditions. Upon arrival at the laboratory, the marinade was inoculated with an overnight culture of Listeria innocua to a level of 3.4 logs per mL (colony forming units). The inoculated marinade was then passed through a FreshLight® 210 ultraviolet light system (Safe Foods Corporation, N. Little Rock, AR) for 10 minutes (flow rate = 10.6 gallons per minute and turnover time = 2.4 minutes). Samples were collected after 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 minutes of ultraviolet light exposure which corresponded to 0, 0.9, 1.7, 2.6, 3.4 and 4.3 calculated passes through the system. Samples of the marinade were plated on Aerobic Plate Count Petrifilm™3 to determine reductions in the inoculum over time. After 2 minutes of ultraviolet light exposure (approximately 1 pass through the ultraviolet light system), the level of Listeria innocua was reduced by 2 logs, at 8 minutes of exposure (3.4 passes) the level was reduced by 2.9 logs and at 10 minutes (4.3 passes) Listeria innocua could not be recovered from the poultry marinade solution. Thus, in 10 minutes of ultraviolet light exposure, levels of Listeria innocua in poultry marinade decreased from an initial level of 3.4 logs per mL to < 1.0 log (the lower detection level) per mL resulting in a > 99.5% reduction in the original level of inoculum. In conclusion, the commercially available FreshLight® 210 ultraviolet light system (FDA regulated under 21 CFR 179.39) is an extremely effective and low cost tool for controlling and eliminating Listeria innocua in commercial poultry marinades.
  K.L. Beers , K.W. Beers and P.E. Cook
  The presence of Listeria in marinade used to inject fresh whole muscle poultry products poses a potential threat to processors. In an attempt to offer a solution to this problem, two representative samples (20 gallons each) of fresh poultry marinade solution were collected on two separate days from a USDA-inspected poultry processing facility and were shipped overnight to MCA Services (Rogers, AR) under refrigerated conditions. Upon arrival at the laboratory, the marinade solutions were inoculated with overnight cultures of Listeria innocua to a level (colony forming units) of 5.0 logs per mL (Trial 1) or 6.6 logs per mL (Trial 2) of marinade solution. The inoculated marinade was then passed through a FreshLight® 210 ultraviolet light system (Safe Foods Corporation, N. Little Rock, AR) for 20 minutes (flow rate = 8 gallons per minute and solution turnover time = 2.5 minutes). Samples of the marinade were collected at 0, 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15 and 17.5 minutes which corresponded to 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 passes through the ultraviolet light system. Aerobic Plate Count Petrifilm™3 was utilized to determine log reductions in Listeria innocua due to the ultraviolet light treatment. In both trials, after only 2.5 minutes of ultraviolet light exposure (1 pass through the ultraviolet light system), a > 2.2 log reduction was achieved in the level of the inoculated culture in the marinade solution. At 10 minutes of exposure (4 passes), a 4 log or greater reduction was achieved in both trials. After 15 minutes (5 passes), Listeria innocua could not be recovered from the marinade solution in either of the two trials (the lower detection level for the organism was 1 log colony forming unit per mL). Thus, in 15 minutes of ultraviolet light system exposure, the total level of Listeria innocua in the poultry marinade was reduced in linear fashion from 5 logs per mL (Trial 1) or 6 logs per mL (Trial 2) to less than 1 log per mL (no detectable organisms). This represents a > 99.99% to a > 99.999% reduction in the original starting level of inoculum in the poultry marinade solutions. In conclusion, the commercially available FreshLight® 210 ultraviolet light system (FDA regulated under 21 CFR 179.39) offers an extremely effective means for controlling and eliminating the incidence and levels of Listeria innocua in poultry marinade solutions at a very low cost to the processor.
  A.L. Waldroup , K.L. Beers , P.E. Cook , E.A. Dell , R. Odglen , R.A. Baker , C.W. Coleman , B.A. Smith and B.W. Maingi
  Published findings have clearly demonstrated that between 0.1 and 0.5%, Cecure® is by far the most efficacious antimicrobial treatment available for controlling Campylobacter on poultry carcasses. Safe Foods Corporation’s commercially available pre-chill and post-chill Cecure® applications should be fully capable of meeting and exceeding any Campylobacter government regulation that will be issued, regardless of the sampling plan or specific isolation methodology that may be mandated. Safe Foods’ previous laboratory studies and in-plant experience, as well as the published findings of other scientists, suggest that Cecure® will be able to achieve at least a 1-2.5 log reduction in Campylobacter levels on pre-chill broilers, with incidence rates being reduced from 80-90% to no greater than 7-9% with a concentration of Cecure® between 0.1 and 0.5%. With a post-chill Cecure® application, the antimicrobial should virtually eliminate the organism (2-3 log reduction) with an expected incidence rate of no greater than 3-5% at a Cecure® concentration between 0.1 and 0.5%.
 
 
 
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