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ABSTRACT The hides of cattle are the primary source of pathogens such as Escherichia coli 0157:H7 that contaminate preevisceratiorl carcasses during commercia] beef processing. A number of interventiorls that reduce hide contamination and subsequent carcass contamination are currently being developed. The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of ozonated and electrolyzed oxidizing (EO) waters to decontaminate beef hides and to compare these treatrnents with similar washing in water without the active antimicrobial compounds. Cattle hides draped over barrels were used as the model systern. Ozonated water (2 pprn) was applied at 4,800 kPa (700 lb inz) and 15°C for 10 s. Alkalirle BO water and acidic EO water were sequerm'ally applied at 60°C for 10 s at 4,800 and 1,700 kPa (250 lb inz), respectively. Treatment using ozonaned water reduced hide aembic plate counts by 2.1 log CPU/100 cm2 and reduced Enterobacten‘aceae counts by 3.4 log CFU/ 100 01112. EO water treatment reduced aerobic plate counts by 35 log CFU/ 100 cm2 and reduced Enterobacteriaceae counts by 4.3 log CPU/100 cmz. Water controls that matehed the wash conditions of the ozonated and EO treatments reduoed aerobic plate counts by only 0.5 and 1.0 log CFU/lOO cmz, respectively, and each reduced Emerobacten'aceae counts by 0.9 log CFU/IOO cmz. The prevalence of E. coli 0157 on hides wm reduced frorn 89 to 31% followirlg treatment with ozonated water and from 82 to 35% following Eo water neatment. Control wash treatrnents had no significant effect on the prevalence of E. coli 0157:H7. These results demonstrate that ozonated and EO waters can be used to decontaminate hides during processing and may be viable treatments for significantly reducing pathogen loads on beef hides, thereby reducing pathogens on beef cacasses.

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