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1 percent (2-5 teaspoons) garlic powder to about two pounds of ground beef kills 90-97 percent of the E. coli.

7.5 percent clove mixture to ground beef kills about 99 percent of the E. coli.

As little as 3 percent plum extract to ground beef kills more than 90 percent of major food-borne pathogens and enhances meat's moistness without altering meat's flavor.


Garlic is the spice of life

By Keener A. Tippin II



Daniel Y.C. Fung putting garlic on food
Photo by April M. Blackmon.

Microbiologist Daniel Y.C. Fung says there are 5 "killer spices" that make ground beef safer: Garlic, cinnamon, oregano, cloves and sage.


Gothic tales speak of a garlic clove or two a day possessing the power to keep vampires at bay. In that same vein, a few teaspoons of the pungent spice or two may ward off potentially deadly food-borne pathogens from your meat.

K-State research shows that two to five teaspoons of garlic powder added to ground meat can provide protection against the deadly pathogen E. coli O157:H7 in undercooked food products.

"Garlic or other natural spices can give an additive protection to heating and other treatments," according to Daniel Y.C. Fung, a K-State microbiologist.

Fung said the spices provide an "added measure of safety" but should not substitute for good cooking practices. Meat should be cooked to 160 F for safety, he said.

Besides helping protect your meat from E.coli bacteria, Fung says with garlic, "The food tastes better."

Spring 2002