Revue Française de la recherche
en viandes et produits carnés

ISSN  2555-8560

Reducing carcass contamination by applying a gel to the hide

Food safety is a crucial issue in cattle slaughterhouses and must be controlled from the slaughtering line onwards. As carcass contamination mainly originates from the animal's hide, this study experimented the application of an antibacterial gel to reduce the transfer of contamination from the hide to the carcass. Made from ethyl lauroyl arginate (LAE®), the gel's inhibitory potential on bacteria was tested in vitro in the laboratory and proved to be very promising for slaughterhouse trials, with a reduction in microbial concentration of up to 7 log CFU/ml. During in situ trials, microbial concentration was reduced by 1 log both on the hide and the carcass, which is similar to other decontamination methods currently employed. This result is encouraging, but further consideration on the application methodology is needed to improve the decontaminating effect of the gel on the animals' hides. Alongside the field trials, a metagenetic analysis was conducted to characterize the microbiota of the bovine hide and of the carcass. This analysis showed that both microbiotas exhibited a complex and similar diversity, thus confirming that the primary source of carcass contamination is the hide.

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