An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Verification of Safe Cooking Endpoints in Beef and Pork by Multiple Antigen ELISA 2000-02613

Keeton, Jimmy
Texas A&M University
Start date
End date
The investigators propose to develop a device to measure multiple meat proteins covering the appropriate EPT range(s) for beef and pork products. This concept presents a new approach and device for EPT testing. It will be rapid, accurate and inexpensive and will meet a critical need for verifying the safety of commercially cooked products, including those prepared at fast food outlets.
More information
Contamination of processed meats by pathogenic organisms has caused foodborne disease outbreaks throughout the U.S. in recent years, and the publicity has provided the impetus for new procedures to reduce disease risks. Recent USDA-FSIS regulations require that pathogens be destroyed in fully-cooked products; thus, they must meet or exceed the minimum safe cooking endpoint temperatures (EPTs) and this endpoint must be verified. Current methods for determining the EPT achieved in products after cooking and in imported meats are deficient at present. Diagnostic tests based on immunoassay technology (i.e., 'dipsticks', like those used in home pregnancy tests) have become popular in the food industry due to their reliability, ease of use, sensitivity and low cost. The investigators' studies have shown that proteins present in meat muscle tissue may be useful as post-cooking 'molecular thermometers' and they have demonstrated their potential for use in EPT tests. They also found that no single meat protein can accurately predict the EPT reached, but by determining the ratio of 3 or more proteins using a diagnostic 'dipstick' it should be possible to accurately assess the EPT reached at any time post-cooking.
Project number
Accession number
Bacterial Pathogens
Legislation and Regulations
Food Preparation and Handling
Meat, Poultry, Game