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Meat Science
Vol. 97, No. 3, 2014; Page: 288 - 297

Microbial pathogen control in the beef chain: Recent research advances

Sava Buncic, George-John Nychas, Michael R.F. Lee, Kostas Koutsoumanis, Michel Hébraud, Mickaël Desvaux, Nikos Chorianopoulos, Declan Bolton, Bojan Blagojevic, Dragan Antic

University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Trg Dositeja Obradovica 8, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia.


Within a recent EU research project (“ProSafeBeef”), research on foodborne pathogens in the beef chain was conducted by using a longitudinally integrated (fork-to-farm) approach. There is not any “single intervention-single chain point” combination by which the pathogens would be reliably and entirely eliminated from the chain resulting in total prevention of pathogens in beef and products thereof at the consumption time. Rather, a range of control interventions have to be applied at multiple points of the chain, so to achieve an acceptable, ultimate risk reduction. Various novel interventions were developed and evaluated during the project, and are briefly summarized in this paper. They include on-farm measures, risk categorisation of cattle presented for slaughter, hygiene-based measures and antimicrobial treatments applied on hides and/or carcasses during cattle slaughter, those applied during beef processing–storage–distribution, use of Time Temperature Integrator-based indicators of safety, and effective sanitation of surfaces.

Keywoards: Foodborne pathogens; Beef chain; Beef safety; Control

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