Validation of time and temperature values as critical limits for the control of Escherichia coli O157:H7 during the production of fresh ground beef

J. E. Mann, M. M. Brashears

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In order to provide beef processors with valuable data to validate critical limits set for temperature during grinding, a study was conducted to determine Escherichia coli O157:H7 growth at various temperatures in raw ground beef. Fresh ground beef samples were inoculated with a cocktail mixture of streptomycin-resistant E. coli O157:H7 to facilitate recovery in the presence of background flora. Samples were held at 4.4, 7.2, and 10°C, and at room temperature (22.2 to 23.3°C) to mimic typical processing and holding temperatures observed in meat processing environments. E. coli O157:H7 counts were determined by direct plating onto tryptic soy agar with streptomycin (1,000 μg/ml), at 2-h intervals over 12 h for samples held at room temperature. Samples held under refrigeration temperatures were sampled at 4, 8, 12, 24, 48, and 72 h. Less than one log of E. coli O157:H7 growth was observed at 48 h for samples held at 10°C. Samples held at 4.4 and 7.2°C showed less than one log of E. coli O157:H7 growth at 72 h. Samples held at room temperature showed no significant increase in E. coli O157:H7 counts for the first 6 h, but increased significantly afterwards. These results illustrate that meat processors can utilize a variety of time and temperature combinations as critical limits in their hazard analysis critical control point plans to minimize E. coli O157:H7 growth during the production and storage of ground beef.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1978-1982
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of food protection
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2006


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