|Title of Research:
The Feasibility of Using Household Steam Cleaners to Control
Microbial Quality of Animal Carcasses in Small and Very Small Meat
University of Georgia
Dr. Jinru Chen
To determine the feasibility, including ease of use and cost effectiveness, of using commercially available household steam cleaners to reduce microorganism levels on beef and hog carcasses in small and very small plants.
The study was conducted in two phases. In the first phase
three different commercial household steam or steam/vacuum cleaning
systems, designated as S1, S2, and S3 were purchased and tested in
the laboratory using inoculations of E. coli O157:H7 and
Listeria monocytogenes to determine which cleaner was most
effective. The cleaning systems were chosen for size, i.e., small
and compact; for ease of use by one person, i.e., portable, easy and
simple to use; and, for price. The systems ranged in price from
$149.99 to $1,495.00. At the conclusion of phase 1, S1 was found to
be the most effective and happened to be the cheapest ($149.99).
In the second phase S1 was evaluated in four different small or very
small meat processing plants. It revealed that the 180 second steam
treatment using S1 significantly reduced the populations of total
aerobes, coliforms, and enterobacteriaceae compared to controls.
The results of this study show a low cost, easy to use, and easy to
obtain technology is available for small and very small plants to
reduce the level of pathogens on the surface of meat carcasses. This
research should help minimize their operating cost while helping
them to ensure food safety and public health protection. Plants
will, however, need to validate that their methodology achieves
The full report on this research can be found on the Fiscal Year 2004 table under the column Food Safety Technologies - Additional Information.