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Int J Food Microbiol. 2011 Oct 3;149(3):262-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2011.07.004. Epub 2011 Jul 8.

Attachment and biofilm formation by Escherichia coli O157:H7 at different temperatures, on various food-contact surfaces encountered in beef processing.

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1
Center for Meat Safety & Quality, Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, 1171 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.

Abstract

Escherichia coli O157:H7 attached to beef-contact surfaces found in beef fabrication facilities may serve as a source of cross-contamination. This study evaluated E. coli O157:H7 attachment, survival and growth on food-contact surfaces under simulated beef processing conditions. Stainless steel and high-density polyethylene surfaces (2×5cm) were individually suspended into each of three substrates inoculated (6log CFU/ml or g) with E. coli O157:H7 (rifampicin-resistant, six-strain composite) and then incubated (168h) statically at 4 or 15°C. The three tested soiling substrates included sterile tryptic soy broth (TSB), unsterilized beef fat-lean tissue (1:1 [wt/wt]) homogenate (10% [wt/wt] with sterile distilled water) and unsterilized ground beef. Initial adherence/attachment of E. coli O157:H7 (0.9 to 2.9log CFU/cm(2)) on stainless steel and high-density polyethylene was not affected by the type of food-contact surface but was greater (p<0.05) through ground beef. Adherent and suspended E. coli O157:H7 counts increased during storage at 15°C (168h) by 2.2 to 5.4log CFU/cm(2) and 1.0 to 2.8log CFU/ml or g, respectively. At 4°C (168h), although pathogen levels decreased slightly in the substrates, numbers of adherent cells remained constant on coupons in ground beef (2.4 to 2.5log CFU/cm(2)) and increased on coupons in TSB and fat-lean tissue homogenate by 0.9 to 1.0and 1.7 to 2.0log CFU/cm(2), respectively, suggesting further cell attachment. The results of this study indicate that E. coli O157:H7 attachment to beef-contact surfaces was influenced by the type of soiling substrate and temperature. Notably, attachment occurred not only at a temperature representative of beef fabrication areas during non-production hours (15°C), but also during cold storage (4°C) temperatures, thus, rendering the design of more effective sanitation programs necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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