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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Public and environmental health

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Master of Science in Food Safety Management to the Technological University Dublin.


Many foodborne outbreaks occur globally each year compromising consumer confidence and highlighting the need for continued improvements with regards to product safety. Therefore, intervention decontamination applications are currently gaining a lot of attention within the beef industry as an additional measure to improve the microbiological condition of finished products. Many studies have shown decontamination methods to be effective, however variations within the published literature makes scientific comparison difficult. This aim of this study is to determine the efficacy of a 2-3% lactic acid solution and steam vacuum technologies as intervention methods in reducing the microbial load and extending the shelf life of beef carcases. The decontamination methods were applied at the end of the slaughter line upon completion of carcase dressing. Samples were taken of carcases before and after treatment and microbiologically analysed. A shelf life durability study was conducted over a 9-day period on carcases treated with lactic acid, steam vacuum and untreated carcases (control). A lactic acid solution applied at 37⁰C reduced ACC, E.coli and Enterobacteriaceae counts by 0.5-2.5 log. Steam vacuum reduced the aforementioned bacterial species by 0.2-1.5 log. Treated carcases chilled and stored at 0-2⁰C reported a prolonged shelf-life in comparison to the control. Therefore, the use of these decontamination methods can reduce the microbial surface load improving the quality and shelf-life of the product.


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