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This study was designed to look at hot water and lactic acid spray combinations as an intervention for reducing pathogens on beef trimmings. Two lean trimming types were used, trimmings from a cow source and trimmings from a fed-beef source. Each trim source was inoculated with a 6.0 log10 / mL cocktail of E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella typhimurium. After inoculation, each trim type was subjected to hot water spray, lactic acid spray, or a combination of each for a 3 second duration. The product was then ground in a fashion similar to commercial ground beef and then evaluated for color, odor, bacterial quality and measured for rancidity at 0, 14, 28 and 42 days of storage.
Trimmings from the older animals were darker prior to and after the intervention spray treatments, however, after grinding, the lean color surface were not noticeably darker due to treatment. Intervention spray treatments reduced the levels of pathogens, but these reductions were not substantial. Meat quality characteristics of color and odor were not affected by the spray interventions. Future works needs to address the delivery system of the spray interventions to create a more uniform coverage and also if longer exposure times may be needed for significant pathogen reduction.