Meat and poultry processing facilities are adopting new and improved chemical intervention steps of treating their products with FDA approved sanitizers as part of their GMP and HACCP programs. The contamination of food products by pathogenic organisms such as Salmonella typhimurium or E.coli O157 H:7 is an on-going problem that is addressed within these processing facilities using antimicrobial products. The efficacy of these Food Contact Substances (FCS) is important to assure a safe and reliable food supply.
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Salmonella spp. are the primary pathogens of interest in most chicken processing plants. As little as 100 Salmonella bacteria cells can cause hemorrhagic colitis, depending on the species. Escherichia coli (E. coli) are pathogenic bacteria that belong to the Enterobacteriaceae family. Many members of this family are a normal part of the gut flora found in the intestines of humans and other animals, but may cause serious illness when ingested. E.coli O157 H:7 is the most virulent strain of the E. coli species and causes hemorrhagic colitis at an estimated infectious dose as little as 10 – 100 bacteria cells.
DBDMH is a common antimicrobial used in meat and poultry processing facilities. It is well known that DBDMH, when dissolved in water, combines with water to form hypobromous acid, which is the sole active ingredient of DBDMH. It is a very sparingly soluble, dry compound that dissolves very slowly and is difficult to use in a production environment without use of sophisticated and complex chemical feed equipment to dissolve the material. Enviro Tech Chemical Services, Inc. recently applied fo a food-contact substance (FCN 000944) notification for an antimicrobial water treatment (processing aid), HB2, for use on meat and poultry. The FCS is hypobromous acid, which is generated on-site by mixing hydrogen bromide and a hypochlorite (such as sodium hypochlorite) to a water source. The hypobromous acid released during the use of DBDMH is exactly the same chemical compound as proposed in FCN #944. Not only is the DBDMH more difficult to work with, but processors can not recycle the water dosed with DBDMH in poultry chill tanks because as DBDMH decomposes it breaks down to DMH which accumulates and overstabilizes the bromine. This report is a compilation of several experiments comparing the efficacy of hypobromous acid and hypobromous acid with excess DMH (to simulate the use of DBDMH in a recycled water environment). As stated above, the active ingredient, hypobromous acid, is the same in HB2 and DBDMH and therefore for convenience reasons, one chemical, HB2, was used for the active ingredient throughout the studies.
Efficacy of Several Antimicrobial Processing Aids
Sprayed on Meat and Pork Products Against E. coli O157:H7
The contamination of food products by pathogenic organisms such as E. coli O157:H7 is an on-going problem that is addressed within the processing plant using antimicrobial products. The efficacy of these Food Contact Substances (FCS) is important to assure a safe and reliable food supply. Meat processing facilities are adopting new and improved chemical intervention steps of treating their meat carcasses with FDA approved sanitizers as part of their HACCP programs. E. coli is one of the primary pathogens of interest in most meat and pork processing plants. It can be seen in Table 1 that as little as 10 to 100 CFU/ml (Colony Forming Units/milliliter) E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria cells can cause hemorrhagic colitis. The primary method of applying the FCS in meat and pork processing plants on carcasses, parts, trim and organs, is using coarse spray technologies. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the relative efficacy of a 30 second spray bar application of peroxyacetic acid (PAA) from Perasan MP-2®, DBDMH (from FCN No. 792), and HB2, which is FCN #944, based on liquid hypobromous acid as the active ingredient, against the bacteria, E. coli 0157:H7. Several references are made in this report to HB2 and HB3, which are identical in chemistry and refer only to labeling differences.