1. Validate the effect of dry fermented sausage production that utilizes fermentation followed by dry curing on the fate of non-O157 STEC strains; <p/>
2. Compare the survival of non-O157 STEC with E. coli O157:H7 during dry fermented sausage production;<p/>
3. Compare the relative tolerance of non-O157 STEC strains with E. coli O157:H7 to acidity and water activity (aw) changes during fermentation and dry curing of sausages.
Expected Benefits <br/>
This study will generate knowledge concerning the effect of dry fermented sausage production on the fate of non-O157 STEC strains by providing validation data for use by meat processors and also assist OMAF and MRA to make recommendations to improve safety of dry fermented meat products. The beneficiaries of the study include Ontario meat processors, OMAF and MRA policy makers, Health Canada, CFIA and consumers.