Antimicrobial effects of multiple physical, biological and natural interventions on pathogenic Escherichia coli in raw beef were assessed. A cocktail of E. coli strains was inoculated onto gamma-irradiated beef and enumerated immediately after each intervention and during storage at 4°C for 7 days. Of the physical interventions, silver-containing antimicrobial packaging and ozone gas treatment did not show significant antimicrobial effects, however cold plasma treatment reduced E. coli levels by 0.9 and 1.82 log10 CFU/cm2 after 2 and 5 min treatments, respectively. A phage cocktail reduced E. coli counts by 0.63 and 1.16 log10 CFU/g after 24 h storage at 4 and 12oC, respectively. Of the natural interventions, vinegar and lactic acid (5%) washes for 5 min caused reductions of ~1 log10 CFU/g immediately after treatment, whereas lactoferrin and nisin treatments, separately or in combination, had insignificant antimicrobial effects. Nanoemulsions containing carvacrol or thyme essential oils caused immediate E. coli reductions of 1.41 and 1.36 log10 CFU/g, respectively, plus a progressive reduction in viable numbers during storage at 4oC. Our findings suggest that cold plasma, bacteriophages, vinegar, lactic acid, or carvacrol and thyme essential oil nanoemulsions could potentially be of use to the beef industry for controlling pathogenic E. coli contamination.
- Escherichia coli O157:H7
- Essential oil nanoemulsions
- Cold plasma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology