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Survival of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli and Stx bacteriophages in moisture enhanced beef

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Kjetil Aune

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Meat Science 2014; Volume 97. p. 339–346. 2014

Langsrud, Solveig; Heir, Even; Rode, Tone Mari

Moisture enhancement of meat through injection is a technology to improve the sensory properties and the weight of meat. However, the technology may increase the risk of food borne infections. Shiga toxinproducing Escherichia coli (STEC) or bacteriophages carrying cytotoxin genes (Shiga toxin genes, stx), which is normally only present on the surface of intact beef, may be transferred to the inner parts of the muscle during the injection process. Pathogens and bacteriophages surviving the storage period may not be eliminated in the cooking process since many consumers prefer undercooked beef. Measures to increase the microbial food safety of moisture enhanced beef may include sterilization or washing of the outer surface of the meat before injection, avoiding recycling of marinade and addition of antimicrobial agents to the marinade. This paper reviews the literature regarding microbial safety of moisture enhanced beef with special emphasis on STEC and Stx bacteriophages. Also, results from a European Union research project, ProSafeBeef (Food-CT-16 2006-36241) are presented.

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