Research Shows Organisms Thought to be Inert Contribute to Meat Spoilage

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2203. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 26 July 2006
clock icon 3 minute read
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Farm-Scape, Episode 2203

Research conducted at the University of Manitoba has shown some bacterial organisms long thought to be harmless do, in fact, contribute to the spoilage of meat.

Over the past 15 years or so new technologies have allowed researchers to extend the shelf life of fresh meat and meat products from about 30 days with pork to about 55 days and the shelf life with beef is about ten days longer.

University of Manitoba food science professor Dr. Rick Holley notes we have a pretty good handle on factors that influence the safety and shelf life of fresh meat but, periodically, spoilage problems do arise.

"In terms of delivery of fresh pork in an international forum we are running at close to the limit of our ability to package and keep quality levels and safety levels as high as possible.

Consequently periodic problems do arise and there are instances where something gets omitted or a different bacterial organism may, in some fashion, be concentrated in a micro-niche in a plant operation and cause problems.

What we've attempted to try and do at the request of industry a number of times is address these problems and attempt to try and identify the organisms and the conditions responsible for specific problems."

Dr. Holley notes, in many cases, we have had organisms that we long thought were not involved in the spoilage process and low and behold, when we take a really close look, we find these organisms do have impacts that can be measured in terms of shortening shelf life.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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