Decontamination of beef carcass surface tissue by steam vacuuming alone and combined with hot water and lactic acid sprays. Academic Article uri icon


  • Hot beef carcass surface regions (outside round, brisket, and clod) contaminated with feces spread over a 5-cm2 (1-in2) area were cleaned using a steam-vacuum spot-cleaning system alone or combined with subsequent sanitizing treatments of hot water (95 degrees C at the nozzle), or warm (55 degrees C) 2% lactic acid spray, or combinations of these two sanitizing methods. These treatments were compared for effectiveness in reducing aerobic plate counts (APC) and counts of Enterobacteriaceae, total coliforms, thermotolerant coliforms, and Escherichia coli. All treatments significantly reduced the numbers of each group of bacteria on beef carcass surfaces. However, reductions obtained by steam vacuuming were significantly smaller than those obtained by a combination of steam vacuuming with any sanitizing treatment. No differences in bacterial reductions were observed between different carcass surface regions. Steam vacuuming reduced the number of different indicator organisms tested by ca. 3.0 log cycles but also spread the bacterial contamination to areas of the carcass surface adjacent to the contaminated sites. This relocated contamination after steam vacuuming was most effectively reduced by spraying with hot water and then lactic acid. This combined treatment consistently reduced the numbers of Enterobacteriaceae, total and thermotolerant coliforms, and E. coli to undetectable levels (<1.0 log10 CFU/cm2) on areas outside the initial 5-cm2 inoculated areas.

published proceedings

  • J Food Prot

author list (cited authors)

  • Castillo, A., Lucia, L. M., Goodson, K. J., Savell, J. W., & Acuff, G. R.

citation count

  • 64

complete list of authors

  • Castillo, A||Lucia, LM||Goodson, KJ||Savell, JW||Acuff, GR

publication date

  • February 1999