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Meat handbook final version for print 29.09.09_Meat.qxd

Meat handbook final version for print 29.09.09_Meat.qxd

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Published by SFLD
Meat handbook final version for print
Meat handbook final version for print

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Published by: SFLD on Feb 06, 2013
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Rhea FernandesLeatherhead Food ResearchRandalls RoadLeatherheadSurreyKT22 7RYUnited Kingdom
1.1 Definitions
refers to the body of any slaughtered animal or bird, often, but not always,after bleeding and dressing.
Chilled meat 
is meat that has been cooled to, and maintained at or below 7 °Cbutnot below -2 °Cduring storage, transportation and sale.
is the progressive separation of a slaughtered animal or bird into acarcass (or sides of a carcass), offals and inedible by-products. Dressed carcasses(or sides) can be skin-on (e.g. chicken, pork) or skin-off (e.g. lamb, beef).
is the removal of the viscera from a carcass.
 Fresh meat 
is meat that has not been treated in any way other than refrigeration,with or without preservative packaging, to maintain its fitness for humanconsumption.
 Frozen meat 
is meat that has been cooled to, and maintained at or below -2 °C(normally below -12 °C) during storage, transportation and sale.
 Initial microflora
is the association of microorganisms present on an evisceratedcarcass after skin removal (if appropriate) but prior to washing, grading, chilling,and further processing.
is the edible part (musculature and edible offal) of an animal or birdslaughtered for human consumption.
 Microbial contamination
refers to microorganisms directly or indirectlytransferred onto a carcass or edible offal; hence,
contaminating microflora
meansthose microorganisms present as a consequence of such transmission.
 Modified-atmosphere packaging 
(MAP) refers to packaging systems in which thenatural gaseous environment around the product is intentionally altered, and thengradually changes as a consequence of the interaction between product, packagingand the external environment.
Controlled-atmosphere packaging 
(CAP) refers to packaging systems in whichthe altered internal gaseous environment is maintained at a specified compositionregardless of product respiration, temperature or other environmental changes.
is all the edible and inedible parts of a slaughtered animal or bird other thanthe carcass.
refers to domesticated birds slaughtered for human consumption; hence,
 poultry meat 
means all edible parts of any domesticated bird slaughtered for human consumption.
 Preservative packaging 
is a general term describing any packaging system that prevents or restricts the growth of spoilage microorganisms.
 Raw meat 
refers to meat that has not been cooked but excludes meat treated withcuring salts and/or subjected to fermentation; hence,
raw meat products
refers touncured non-fermented whole tissue or comminuted meat products intended for sale in the raw state.
describes changes that render meat objectionable to consumers; hence,
 spoilage microflora
describes an association of microorganisms that through itsdevelopment on meat renders that meat objectionable to consumers.
Spoilage potential 
is a measure of the propensity of microorganisms to render meat objectionable to consumers through the production of offensive metabolic by-products.
is the killing of an animal or bird for human consumption generally, butnot necessarily performed within a premise (abattoir) that is approved andregistered for that purpose.
mean the organs of the thoracic and abdominal cavities, and include thekidneys.
1.2 Initial Microflora
The initial microflora associated with skin-off meat processing is composed of microorganisms transferred onto the naked carcass during slaughter and dressing.With skin-on meat processing, the initial microflora will also containmicroorganisms resident on the skin of the live animal that are not removed duringdressing.Since slaughter and dressing procedures differ not only between meat animalspecies but also for a given species, the term initial microflora must be preciselydefined. The association of microorganisms present on dressed evisceratedcarcasses before washing was selected for this chapter as being the initialmicroflora, to allow the effects of processing variables such as washing andchilling to be considered more fully in the next section, 1.3 Processing and itsEffects on the Microflora
The major sources of the initial microflora found on carcasses are the slaughter animals themselves, the process workers, and the processing environment. Theanimal sources of contaminating microorganisms include external body surfaces(skin, hide, fleece, feathers, feet and hooves), and the gastrointestinal andrespiratory tracts. Contact, either direct or indirect (e.g. via a process worker'shands or implements), between the carcass and external body surface of aslaughtered animal will result in a heterogeneous mixture of microorganismsderived from the animal's pre-slaughter environment, including those of faecal,soil, water and feed origin, being transferred to the carcass. Consequently, themicrobiological quality of a dressed carcass is determined by a complexinteraction between the microflora carried by the live animal and the hygienicefficiency of the slaughter and dressing process. Despite species and processingdifferences, the mainly Gram-positive-dominated initial microflora found ondressed meat and poultry carcasses are remarkably similar (1, 2). Unlesssubsequent processing includes antimicrobial treatments, microbial numbersincrease progressively with further processing, at first because of additionalcontamination associated with handling, and later because of microbial growth.Pathogenic microorganisms, particularly those of animal origin, can also beexpected to be found in the saprophyte-dominated initial microflora; except inunusual and highly undesirable circumstances, their numbers are generally low.With the exception of 
Staphylococcus aureus
Yersinia enterocolitica
, most of the major food poisoning organisms (
Clostridium perfringens
, pathogenic
 Escherichia coli,
Campylobacter jejuni
) are associated with director indirect faecal contamination of carcasses. Other pathogens such as
may be animal-associated, but can also be found in the processingenvironment.

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