December 11, 2008

Cranberry may stop E. coli growth in beef


US researchers have found that adding cranberry concentrate to ground beef minimizes the growth of E.coli, a common contamination in raw ground beef.


Researchers from the University of Maine said experiments found that cranberry concentrate to ground beef inhibits the growth of E.coli O157:H7.


E. coli strains of the type O157:H7, can cause serious food poisoning in humans, and are occasionally responsible for costly product recalls.


The research team introduced ground beef with 2.5 percent, 5 percent and 7.5 percent levels of cranberry concentrate before storing the samples at 4°C for five days. After the five days, populations of E. coli O157:H7 were reduced compared to the control sample.


Tests also found that there were no differences in taste and colour of burgers made from ground beef with the cranberry concentrate.


US meatpackers should welcome the results considering that millions of pounds of raw ground beef have been recalled in the US over the past couple of years due to E. coli O157:H7 contamination.

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