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Meat Sci. 2007 Aug;76(4):692-9. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2007.02.011. Epub 2007 Feb 24.

Modeling transfer of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Staphylococcus aureus during slicing of a cooked meat product.

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  • 1Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Córdoba, Campus de Rabanales, C-1, 14014 Córdoba, Spain.


Cross contamination is one of the most important contributing factors in foodborne illnesses originating in household environments. The objective of this research was to determine the transfer coefficients between a contaminated domestic slicing machine and a cooked meat product, during slicing. The microorganisms tested were Staphylococcus aureus (Gram positive) and Escherichia coli O157:H7 (Gram negative). The results showed that both microorganisms were able to transfer to all slices examined (20 successively sliced) and at different inoculum levels on the blade (10(8), 10(6) and 10(4)cfu/blade). The results also showed that the number of log cfu transferred per slice, during slicing, decreased logarithmically for both microorganisms at inoculum levels of 8 and 6log cfu/blade. The type of microorganism significantly influenced transfer coefficients (p<0.05) and there was an interaction between inoculum level and transfer coefficient for S. aureus (p<0.05), but not E. coli O157:H7. Finally, to describe bacterial transfer during slicing, two models (log-linear and Weibull) were fitted to concentration on slice data for both microorganisms (at 6 and 8 log cfu/blade), obtaining a good fit to data (R(2)⩾0.73).

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