Raw Meat - Critical Limits for Short-Time Holding of Raw Meat at Warm Temperatures
University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Drs. Dennis Buege and Steve Ingham
To determine the effect on growth of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella spp. on raw meat products when the products are exposed to non-refrigerated conditions.
The results of this study showed that there was no significant growth of Escherichia coli O157:H7 or Salmonella spp. found on any meat samples when exposed to two different temperature-time tests; 50°F for 8 hours or to 72°F for 2 hours.
For small and very small processors that produce raw, not ground and raw, ground meat and poultry products, storage of raw products in refrigeration is critical. Processors should be aware that when products are exposed to warm temperatures, they must be rapidly chilled to 41°F or colder within 2 hours. Plants will, however, need to validate that their chilling methodology achieves these parameters.
This research shows that costs can be realized by allowing product to remain in warm fabrication areas longer than current practices. Thus, reducing labor needed to move product to and from the warm fabrication areas and refrigerated areas, to maintain a safe product temperature.
The full report on this research can be found on the Fiscal Year 2003 table under the column Food Safety Technologies - Additional Information.