Antimicrobial effect of herb extracts against Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella typhimurium associated with beef

C N Cutter
Journal of Food Protection 2000, 63 (5): 601-7
The effects of plant extracts against pathogenic bacteria in vitro are well known, yet few studies have addressed the effects of these compounds against pathogens associated with muscle foods. A series of experiments was conducted to determine the effectiveness of a commercially available, generally recognized as safe, herb extract dispersed in sodium citrate (Protecta One) or sodium chloride (Protecta Two) against Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella typhimurium, and Listeria monocytogenes associated with beef. In the first experiment, E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella typhimurium, and L. monocytogenes inoculated onto beef and subjected to surface spray treatments with 2.5% solutions of Protecta One or Protecta Two were not affected by immediate application (day 0) of the herbal extracts. However, after 7 days of storage at 4 degrees C, E. coli O157:H7 was reduced by >1.3 log10 CFU/cm2 by Protecta Two; L. monocytogenes was reduced by 1.8 and 1.9 log10 CFU/cm2 by Protecta One and Protecta Two, respectively; Salmonella typhimurium was not reduced >0.3 log10 CFU/cm2 by either extract by day 7. In the second experiment, 2.5% Protecta Two (wt/vol or wt/wt) added to inoculated lean and adipose beef trim, processed, and packaged as ground beef chubs (80% lean, 20% adipose), did not reduce pathogen populations >0.5 log10 CFU/g up to 14 days at 4 degrees C. In the third experiment, surface spray treatments of beef with 2.5% lactic acid or 2.5% solutions of Protecta One or Protecta Two, vacuum packaged, and stored up to 35 days at 4 degrees C did reduce E. coli O157:H7, L. monocytogenes, and Salmonella Typhimurium slightly. These studies suggest that the use of herb extracts may afford some reductions of pathogens on beef surfaces; however, the antimicrobial activity may be diminished in ground beef by adipose components.

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