The overall project goal(s) and supporting objectives are to:
ii) Determine the effect of slow come up time during the thermal processing of bacon and bone-in ham on the survival of Clostridium perfringens, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella spp.
ii) Determine the effect of slow stabilization during the thermal processing of bacon and bone-in ham on the survival of C. perfringens, S. aureus, L. monocytogenes and Salmonella spp.
This project is a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin (UW) and Iowa State University (ISU). Preliminary laboratory work will be performed at UW, while ISU will conduct parallel experiments in their Biosafety Level II pilot plant, which includes smokehouses and most of the equipment commonly used in meat processing.
The project is designed to provide a better understanding and address the lack of scientifically-supported tools available to the industry to define lethal cooking processes and establish validated regulatory compliance for different ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products. Slow come up times as well as slow cooling times may allow the growth of some bacteria, while the end point temperature and holding time will result in microbial death. Further, different intrinsic factors (pH, fat content, water activity/moisture content) likely impact overall microbial death during come-up and cooling periods. Experiments will investigate several intrinsic factors likely to affect thermal lethality using isothermal systems followed by further exploration and confirmation using “real world” conditions following different processing conditions of temperature (both wet bulb and dry bulb) and time. Bacterial populations will be determined at specific intervals to determine the increase and decrease in populations attributable to each step in the process.