Pasteurize deli turkey products to reduce L. monocytogenes.
Scientists at Oklahoma State University investigated the pasteurization of pre-packaged, post-packaged and combination pre-post-packaged deli turkey products. They wanted to find a way to reduce potential L. monocytogenes surface contamination that could come from environmental contamination or worker handling. The researchers determined that the surface pasteurization of ready-to-eat (RTE) processed meats could alleviate product contamination and the potential for recalls. Deli products are prone to acquiring contamination during the final packaging steps.
A radiant heat oven and temperature-controlled water bath were used for pre-package, post-package and combination pre-post-package pasteurization of four types of deli turkey products: roast, pepper-seasoned, skin-on and oil-browned turkey. The samples were contact-inoculated with four strains of L. monocytogenes.
Using either a 60-second or 75-second pre-package pasteurization process, the scientists obtained 1.6 to 3.4 [log.sub.10] or 2.25 to 4.2 [log.sub.10] reductions of L. monocytogenes, respectively, for the products. Similarly, using either a 2-minute or 3-minute post-package pasteurization process, the researchers obtained 1.75 to 2.9 [log.sub.10] or 2.2 to 3.6 [log.sub.10] reductions in microbial levels, respectively.
However, when using only a 1-minute pre-package and 1-minute post-package pasteurization process at 200 F, researchers obtained 3.5 to 4.1 [log.sub.10] reductions in the levels of L. monocytogenes.
In addition, the scientists examined the utility of thermal imaging as a way to obtain hundreds of surface temperature measurements of pasteurized products. The problem is cost. One thermal imaging camera they initially examined cost about $35,000 to 40,000, so that might be expensive for even large processors.
But the concept was interesting in what it could do. Every computer pixel in the digital record became a temperature monitoring event. You could cover a wide area of product with thousands of measurements instead of making just a few pin-point measurements as you do with hand-held infrared guns that shine a few beams and measure the surface temperatures at just a few points in a product. Further information. Peter M. Muriana, Oklahoma State University, Food and Agricultural Products Center and Department of Animal Sciences, 109 FAPC Building, Monroe St., Stillwater, OK 74078; phone: 405-744-5563; fax: 405-744-6313; email: email@example.com.
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|Publication:||Microbial Update International|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2005|
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