Submitted to: International Association for Food Protection
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/12/2009
Publication Date: 7/12/2009
Citation: Murphy, R., Beard, B., Marcy, J., Berrang, M.E. 2009. Use of Dual Electromagnetic Radiation Technology to Reduce Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes Risk on Cooked and Packaged Meat Products. International Association for Food Protection. July 12-15,2009. Grapevine, TX. T6-12. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Pathogenic bacteria including Salmonella and Listeria can potentially contaminate ready-to-eat meats. These bacteria compromise the safety of our food supply. The objective of this research was to develop and test new low temperature pasteurization technology for packaged or thermally sensitive foods in order to reduce surface microbial contamination without significant loss in quality. Electromagnetic radiation such as ultraviolet and infrared light has been known to act as a mutagen at the cellular level for more than 100 years. Use of a dual wavelength electromagnetic radiation system including use of infrared and ultraviolet light can achieve maximal bacterial elimination on food product without intolerable heat deposition. A combination of thermal and non-thermal pasteurization treatments were applied in a continuous conveyor system to improve food safety of vacuum packaged ready-to-eat food product. In this study, a continuous eletromagnetic radiation system with dual wavelength of lights was used to treat cooked and vacuum-packaged sausages. A cocktail of six Salmonella (S. Montevideo, S. Senftenberg, S. Gaminara, S. Heidelberg, S. anatum, and S. typhimurium) or a cocktail of six Listeria monocytogenes were surface-inoculated on each sausage link to result in a combined level of 109 CFU/cm2 for Salmonella or Listeria, respectively. The sausages were vacuum-packaged (6 sausages in each 1 lb/package) and held at 4oC for 60 min prior to treatment. Each package was treated in a dual wavelength electromagnetic system with a capacity 160 lb/min at a conveyor speed up to 24 ft/min. Salmonella and Listeria were respectively enumerated on sausages. Salmonella and L. monocytogenes were both reduced by 3 logs. The results from this study are important for any food processor where risk of surface pathogen contaminations is a concern. This research offers a faster, cheaper, and less quality-disruptive alternative than traditional thermal-processing for lowering foodborne pathogen levels.