Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/10/2002
Publication Date: 12/1/2002
Citation: SOMMERS, C.H., KOZEMPEL, M.F., FAN, X., RADEWONUK, E.R. USE OF VACUUM-STEAM-VACUUM AND IONIZING RADIATION TO ELIMINATE LISTERIA INNOCUA FROM HAM. JOURNAL OF FOOD PROTECTION. 2002. V. 65. P. 1981-1983. Interpretive Summary: Listeria monocytogenes, a food-borne pathogen, is a common contaminant on ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products such as ham. Ionizing radiation and Vacuum-Steam-Vacuum (VSV) can eliminate Listeria spp. from RTE meats. Unfortunately, excessive use of either technology by itself can negatively impact product color, structure and lipid oxidation. In this study lower doses of VSV and ionizing radiation were used in combination to eliminate 99.999 percent of the L. monocytogenes surrogate Listeria innocua from ham without producing negative effects on product structure, color (redness) and lipid oxidation. The meat processing industry will benefit from the more efficient methodology for elimination of L. monocytogenes and consumers will benefit from a safer and organoleptically pleasing RTE meat product.
Technical Abstract: Listeria monocytogenes is a frequent post-process contaminant on ready-to-eat meat (RTE) products including ham. Vacuum-Steam-Vacuum (VSV) technology has been used successfully to eliminate the L. monocytogenes surrogate L. innocua from hot dogs. Ionizing radiation can eliminate L. monocytogenes from ready-to-eat meats. However, excessive application of either technology can cause changes to product quality including structural changes, color (redness) and lipid oxidation. In this study 2 cycles of VSV were combined with 2.0 kGy of ionizing radiation to obtain a 4.40 log10 or 4.85 log10 reduction of L. innocua on ham meat and skin, respectively. Use of both treatments resulted in an additive, as opposed to synergistic, reduction of L. innocua on ham. The combination treatment did not cause statistically significant changes to product structure, color (redness) or lipid oxidation. Use of multiple technologies such as VSV and ionizing radiation may be useful for elimination of Listeria spp. from RTE meats when use of an individual technology might produce unacceptable changes to product quality.