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Process Validation and Control to Address Foodborne Pathogens and Contamination Associated with Meat and Poultry Products

Investigators
Hardin, Margaret
Institutions
Texas A&M University
Start date
2009
End date
2014
Objective
  1. Identify potential sources and validate effective control measures for pathogens of concern in meat and poultry products through evaluation of interventions for beef carcass surfaces and pork variety meats.
  2. Develop and validate cleaning and sanitation procedures for meat plant processing equipment to reduce cross-contamination through development of cleaning procedures for reducing cross-contact of allergens in meat processing equipment.
  3. Evaluate and validate microbiological test methods and systems for use on food products including rapid methods for Salmonella serotyping and AOAC validation.
More information
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Identify potential sources and validate effective control measures for pathogens of concern in meat and poultry products through evaluation of interventions for beef carcass surfaces and pork variety meats. Hot water continues to be an effective antimicrobial intervention, for beef carcasses, primals and trim. Issues arise in defining how hot is hot and in narrowing down the most effective water and surface temperatures. For the chilling of pork offal, there is little if any specific guidance or published best practices, and no regulatory performance standards for the chilling of pork offal. While proper chilling of animal carcasses and offal as well as maintaining proper refrigeration temperatures of meat products is important to limit the growth of both pathogenic and spoilage bacteria, antimicrobial treatments have gained acceptance for use as carcass treatments. A comparison of current practices with a commonly used antimicrobial such as lactic acid is of great interest to the pork industry. Develop and validate cleaning and sanitation procedures for meat plant processing equipment to reduce cross-contamination through development of cleaning procedures for reducing cross-contact of allergens in meat processing equipment. Allergens continue to be a challenge to the food industry from both a public health as well as from a regulatory perspective. Each processor must insure that their cleaning procedures are adequate for the particular allergen and equipment being used and having access to a quick and reliable method along with validated and reliable procedures will help with employee training as well as assist them as they perform any needed in-plant validation to address the specific challenges they face in their own processes. Evaluate and validate microbiological test methods and systems for use on food products including rapid methods for Salmonella serotyping and AOAC validation. Processors of meat and poultry products are responsible for the food safety of their incoming raw materials and additional emphasis placed on pathogen reduction programs, such as those for Salmonella, that the processor be able to trace contaminating sources to their origins. Traditional serotyping methods are time-consuming, involve the use of several reagents with limited shelf-life, and require a high level of expertise to be properly implemented in current food safety programs. Validation of a new commercial system based on genetic profiling would allow for routine laboratory testing of Salmonella serotypes at the industry level, which would greatly enhance the ability of processors to meet reduction standards. Validation of new test methods and comparison with standard reference methods, often considered the \"gold\" standard, is necessary to confirm the sensitivity, repeatability and discriminatory power of the new method.

APPROACH: Identify potential sources and validate effective control measures for pathogens of concern in meat and poultry products through evaluation of interventions for beef carcass surfaces and pork variety meats. This will be accomplished by evaluating the potential of hot water applied over varying exposure times and temperatures to reduce the levels of pathogens and indicator organisms on beef carcass surfaces and through evaluation of the effect of varying exposure times and temperatures of hot water on meat surface type. Rifampicin-resistant strains of pathogens will be incorporated into a fecal slurry and used to inoculate the meat surfaces. Meat samples will be exposed to different temperatures of hot water and different dwell times and analyzed for pathogen reduction. To evaluate the effect of lactic acid and current industry practices for chilling and freezing on the survival of pathogens on pork variety meats, variety meats will be collected from pork carcasses at slaughter. Upon receipt at the laboratory, samples will be inoculated with pathogens and sample portions will then be subjected to lactic acid rinse and or different chilling treatments. Develop and validate cleaning and sanitation procedures for meat plant processing equipment to reduce cross-contamination through development of cleaning procedures for reducing cross-contact of allergens in meat processing equipment. Processing equipment of varying complexity will be evaluated before and after exposure to allergen-containing pork products and before and after cleaning to determine the presence and reduction in allergens when exposed to each cleaning process. Validation of testing will include a visual inspection of equipment after cleaning and qualitative and quantitative testing using allergen test kits. Evaluate and validate microbiological test methods and systems for use on food products including rapid methods for Salmonella serotyping and AOAC validation. The performance of a new Salmonella serotyping system will be evaluated in identifying strains of Salmonella isolates collected from pork and poultry sources. This rapid method will be compared to the current traditional method for Salmonella serotyping. The goals will be accomplished through a collaborative effort between Texas A&M University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The project will be conducted using cultures of Salmonella obtained from commercial pork and poultry settings, isolated in previous studies and previously characterized and reported and from fresh samples will be obtained from commercial pork and poultry processing facilities. AOAC validation includes test portions of each food type be delivered to the laboratory prior to initiation of the analyses. One test portion will analyzed by a rapid method method and the other by the appropriate reference methods.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
TEX09237
Accession number
218595
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Salmonella
Parasites
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Chemical Contaminants
Prevention and Control
Commodities
Meat, Poultry, Game