Two naturally occurring, generally recognized as safe compounds, namely, caprylic acid (CA) (1%) and β-resorcylic acid (BR) (1%), and their combination, applied at 23 and 60uC were evaluated for their antimicrobial effects against Escherichia coli O157:H7 on cattle hides in the presence and absence of bovine feces. Fresh cleaned cattle hides were cut into pieces (5 cm2), air dried, and inoculated with a five-strain mixture of nalidixic acid-resistant (50 mg/ml) E. coli O157:H7 (,8.0 log CFU). The hide samples were air dried under a biosafety hood for 2 h and sprayed with 95% ethanol, 1% CA, 1% BR, or a mixture of 1% CA and 1% BR at 23 or 60uC. The hide samples were kept at 23uC, and E. coli O157:H7 populations were determined at 2 and 5 min after treatment. Both CA and BR were effective in decreasing E. coli O157:H7 populations on hides by 3 to 4 log CFU/cm2 (P < 0.05). Sterile bovine feces had no effect on the decontaminating property of CA and BR on cattle hides (P > 0.05). Results of this study indicate that CA and BR could potentially be used to decontaminate cattle hides, but follow-up research under slaughterhouse conditions is warranted.