Development of a carcass sanitizing spray system for small and very small slaughterhouses
Small and very small slaughterhouses generally spray lactic acid for carcass
decontamination utilizing a hand held sprayer. Even though this tool represents a very
small investment, it may present important disadvantages such as uneven delivery of the
spray over the carcass surface. If the decontamination treatment is not applied properly,
the untreated areas of the carcass will still have high bacterial loads present and could be
a source for recontamination of the areas that have been treated.
A sanitizer spraying system (sanitizing halo system) was designed and
assembled. The sanitizing halo system was tested at the Rosenthal Meat Science and
Technology Center, Texas A&M University. Thirteen carcasses were split in halves.
Thirteen halves were sampled and used as control after knife trimming and water wash;
then they were sprayed with 2% L-Lactic at 55Ã?Â°C with the sanitizing halo system. The
other 13 halves were sprayed by the RMSTC employees utilizing a hand held sprayer.
Counts of aerobic and mesophilic bacteria obtained from carcasses sprayed with the
sanitizing halo system and the hand held sprayer were both significantly lower than the
control counts. In addition, coliforms counts were below the detectable limit for the
sanitizing halo system and the hand held sprayer. After testing, the sanitizing halo system was installed at two small commercial
slaughter plants processing beef and pork carcasses. At each slaughter plant, 24 carcass
halves were treated with 2% L-Lactic at 55Ã?Â°C using the sanitizing halo system, and the
other 24 halves were used as control. Mesophilic bacteria populations were reduced in
beef and pork carcasses by 2.9 and 1.9 log cycles, respectively, after the lactic acid
treatment. Also E. coli counts were significantly lower in the three regions sampled
after application of the 2% L-Lactic acid with the sanitizing halo system.
From the data collected during this study, we recommend the sanitizing halo
system as a tool to reduce the bacterial loads on the surface of beef and pork carcasses.
The use of this system should help small and very small slaughterhouses to improve
food safety performance while providing cost-efficiency, simplicity, and convenience.
Advisor:Castillo, Alejandro; Acuff, Gary; Harris, Kerri
School:Texas A&M University
School Location:USA - Texas
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:food safety lactic acid
Date of Publication:12/01/2006