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Center for Food Industry Excellence - Texas

Investigators
Brashears, Mindy
Institutions
Texas Tech University
Start date
2010
End date
2012
Objective
  1. Improve the safety of imported foods from Mexico and other Central American Countries
    Outcomes: Safety of imported meat products will be improved by reducing pathogen loads from up to 40% in meats to less than 10% over the next 5 years. These products will be consumed in the US and Mexico thus reducing food-borne illnesses and improving food safety locally and globally. Providing a safer product in Mexico and reducing the number of deaths due to food-borne pathogens, especially in children ages 0-4 as food-borne illness is the number 1 cause of death in this age group in Mexico, will have a positive impact on global food security. This work will be done in cooperation with the US Meat Export Federation and COMECARNE thus improving US and Mexican trade relationships.
  2. Reduce food-borne illness through educational programs in the meat industry in the US and Mexico
    Outcomes: Food-borne illnesses are reduced in the US and Mexico as described in objectives 1 and 2 by providing food manufacturers state of the art technologies in food safety
  3. Improve the safety of needle tenderized meat products in the US
    Outcomes: Reduction of outbreaks, illnesses and recalls associated with needle tenderized products from 4-6 in recent years to 1 or fewer due to Salmonella and/or E. coli O157:H7 contamination.
More information
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: we will improve the safety of imported foods from Mexico and other Central American Countries. Ultimately improving the safety of imported meat products will by reducing pathogen loads from up to 40% in meats to less than 10% over the next 5 years. These products will be consumed in the US and Mexico thus reducing food-borne illnesses and improving food safety locally and globally. the reduction of food-borne illness will be accomplished through educational programs in the meat industry in the US and Mexico thus food-borne illnesses are reduced in the US and Mexico as described in objectives by providing food manufacturers state of the art technologies in food safety Additionally, improving the safety of needle tenderized meat products in the US will result in a reduction of outbreaks, illnesses and recalls associated with needle tenderized products.

APPROACH: We will determine educational needs in the Mexican meat industry by conducting a needs assessment among industry employees with the assistance of COMECARNE and USMEF. We will also establish needs by conducting audits of facilities and collecting microbiological data in the processing plant. After identifying gaps in the system, we will develop training programs and implement interventions in the plants and follow up with microbiological testing and audits to determine the impact on the pathogen loads in the products. The program will result in safer products being shipped into the US. Additionally, it will provide food security for the Mexican citizens reducing pathogen prevalence in their food supply. We will also evaluate interventions to reduce the pathogen prevalence in needle tenderized beef products. In recent years, there have been outbreaks associated with needle tenderized products because they are considered "whole muscle" and thus cooked at less than 160 F when served. However, during the tenderization process, pathogens can be transferred into the surface. We will evaluate the use of ASC, organic acids and lactic acid bacteria on the survival of E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella in these products.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
TEXW-2010-01453
Accession number
221584
Categories
Natural Toxins
Food Defense and Integrity
Bacterial Pathogens