The Microbiological Effects of Procedures Used in Commercial Practice for Cleaning Mechanical Tenderizing Equipment Used With Beef

M. K. Youssef, M. D. Klassen, C. O. Gill


The microbiological effects of routine cleaning of a common type of blade tenderizing equipment (Ross TC700MC) used with beef at a retail store meat fabrication facility were investigated. Swab samples were obtained from various parts of the equipment before and after its use on each of 5 days, with 17 samples being obtained on each occasion. The median numbers of aerobes recovered before or after use each day were mostly not significantly different (P > 0.05) and > 3.5 log cfu/sample. Enterobacteriaceae and coliforms were recovered after use each day at total numbers of 2.5 – 4.2 and 2.4 – 3.2 log cfu, respectively; and sometimes before use at total numbers of 1.7 – 3.9 and 0.7 – 2.1 log cfu, respectively. With more careful performance of cleaning procedures by facility staff and storing in a chiller, the numbers of aerobes recovered from the tenderizer before use were 3 log units less than the numbers found on the used equipment, and Enterobacteriaceae and coliforms were not recovered. Studies at a laboratory with a tenderizer used with beef cuts showed that cleaning was equally effective for reducing numbers of aerobic bacteria by ? 3 log units when carried out using water of 90 °C or 55 °C; and that drying of equipment was necessary to prevent growth of Enterobacteriaceae and coliforms on cleaned equipment not stored at chiller temperatures.


beef, mechanical tenderizing equipment, cleaning, disinfection, drying

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Journal of Food Research   ISSN 1927-0887 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0895 (Online)  E-mail:

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