Submitted to: American Meat Science Association Conference Reciprocal Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 28, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: This will be published in a Proceedings; no Interpretive Summary is required.
Technical Abstract: While the general microbial load of carcass and muscle food surfaces is intrinsically low, unavoidable and accidental contamination can occur throughout post-harvest production, including slaughter, fabrication, or further processing. Organic acid rinses, steam vacuuming, steam pasteurization, and hot water washes have been documented as effective intervention measures and are currently used by the meat industry for removal of visible and bacterial contamination from poultry and red meat animal carcasses. Despite the effectiveness and widespread use of these interventions, researchers and industry are continuing to investigate new methodologies for improving the microbiological safety and quality of carcasses, subprimals, and retail products. Technologies to be discussed in this paper include thermal (desiccation with heat and surface pasteurization) and nonthermal physical treatments (dehairing, UV light, pulsed light, electric pulse fields, and packaging), as well as the application of antimicrobials (acidified sodium chlorite, cetylpyridinium chloride, ozone, and hydrogen peroxide). The integration of newly discovered--and previously established--thermal or nonthermal post-harvest interventions or antimicrobial spray washes at various steps in the process may provide improvements to the microbial stability, quality, and safety of the final muscle food product.