The Effect of Cayenne Pepper, Storage Temperature, and Storage Time on the Growth of Escherichia Coli and Other Bacterium on Ground Round Beef

The purpose of the experiment was to explore the effects of different factors on the growth of E. coli and other bacterium on ground round beef and which factor hindered the growth of bacterium the most significantly. These factors were cayenne pepper, storage temperature, and storage time. It was hypothesized that if the largest amount of cayenne pepper, coldest storage temperature, and shortest storage time would keep growth of bacterium down the most. Meat was covered in different amounts of cayenne pepper, kept at varying storage temperatures, and kept in storage for different number of days. After storage times were up, the meat would be soaked in separate dishes of water. The beef water was then put onto different Petri dishes and left in an incubator overnight. The next day, the Petri dishes were taken out to count how many colonies of bacteria grew. The data showed that the original hypothesis had to be rejected because the least amount of E. coli came from the combination of factors, largest cayenne amount, warmest temperature, and shortest time in storage.

Research Done By:

Patricia Giacona-Wilson
Warren Woods Tower

Aaron Humphreys
Lakeview High School