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DECONTAMINATION OF MEAT AND MEAT PRODUCTS USING COMBINATIONS OF CONDENSATION AT SUB-ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE AND ORGANIC ACIDS

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Safer meat has longer shelf life

A safe method of extending the shelf life of meat and meat products, without affecting either the quality or the appearance of the meat, has been developed.

Health

Rapid temperature cycles have been achieved using steam treatments as vapour condensation and evaporation of condensed vapour are very efficient methods of rapidly raising and cooling surface temperatures. The inclusion of organic acids as an additional decontaminate increased microbial reductions in all three of the meats investigated. The procedure has been thoroughly optimised to ensure maximal reduction of micro-organisms without affecting the quality or appearance of the produce. This research clearly represents an important step in regaining consumer confidence in European meat products, on a sound and scientific basis. At present, Salmonella affects an estimated 12 out of 20 chickens sold in high-street shops. Synergism between temperature treatment and the use of organic acids has been shown to considerably reduce the number of harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli on the surface of fresh meat, thereby extending their shelf life. Rapid, controlled, and very localised heating and subsequent cooling has been shown to significantly reduce levels of surface bacteria on chicken, pork skin and beef. This treatment assures safety without affecting quality or appearance.

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