21 July 1998

Spices May Reduce Escherichia Coli O157:H7 In Meat!

Kansas State University researchers looked at the impact of adding spices to hamburger and salami infected with a food born pathogen (Escherichia coli O157:H7). Their study showed that in hamburger meat, clove had the best ability to inhibit the microbes, followed by cinnamon, garlic, oregano and sage. With salami the results were much more complex but a healthy dose of garlic and clove achieved the best results.

What emerged was the mix of spices needed to inhibit the pathogen was very complex to define. Dr. Daniel Fung one of the researchers said: "If you add more spice to your cooking, you will definitely knock off more microorganisms, especially if you season with the spices that we said kill E. coli.

For food manufacturers, similarly, if they use more spice in their products, they will kill more microorganisms."

The team plan further work looking at the effect of cooking on the antimicrobial properties of spices, but for now perhaps we can feel better about KFC and their "secret herbs and spices".