UW scientists team with meat industry to provide food safety solution

 

Source: UW–Madison Food Research Institute

via Wisconsin State Farmer - Oct 12, 2021

 

Foodborne pathogens are often difficult to control during food production. Salmonella, which causes over 1 million illnesses in the U.S. each year, is particularly nefarious. It can cleverly adapt to its environment to survive under extreme circumstances. In low-moisture conditions, for instance, Salmonella becomes even better at withstanding heat, creating a food safety hazard for meat and poultry products cooked in dry-heat conditions.

 

To help mitigate this issue, the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2017 updated its industry guidance in Appendix A. According to the new guidance, a 90% humidity level must be maintained during meat and poultry cooking processes that take less than one hour to ensure product safety.

 

Meeting this new guideline presented a problem for many processors: Smaller-sized meat and poultry products like chicken nuggets and beef patties often are cooked for short times at high temperatures using an impingement oven, a continuous cooking system driven via conveyor belt.

 

When Salmonella are exposed to these dry-heat methods, the bacteria dessicate, or dry out, which makes them more heat tolerant and better able to survive the high temperatures.

 

Processors needed a way to ensure the inactivation of Salmonella in their products without having to replace their existing impingement ovens, which are large and expensive pieces of equipment.

 

A team of UW–Madison researchers...

 

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https://www.wisfarmer.com/story/news/2021/10/12/uw-scientists-team-meat-industry-provide-food-safety-solution/8426100002/