Numerous antimicrobial washing systems and compounds are currently being used in the beef industry to control bacteria. This study looked at the effectiveness of antimicrobial wash solutions and hot water against E. coli and its adhesion to beef muscle and fat tissue. Three organic acid washes (acetic, citric and lactic) and trisodium phosphate were used on two strains of E. coli, non-pathogenic E. coli and E. coli O157:H7.
For reducing adhesion to muscle, lactic acid was the most effective organic acid and all acids were effective on reducing adhesion to fat tissue. Trisodium phosphate was the most effective antimicrobial compound against bacteria on muscle components. The reductions from the antimicrobial washes ranged from 1-2 logs, depending on the exposure time of the antimicrobial wash and were more effective than 132° F water washing.