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E. coli Inactivation in Fermented Meats Model

Background

Quantitative data describing the rate of inactivation (i.e. death) of Escherichia coli in fermented meats is required by smallgoods producers and food safety managers to specify processing parameters that deliver safe uncooked, comminuted, fermented meat (UCFM) products.

An MLA-sponsored study developed a model for the inactivation rate of E. coli from analysis of a collation of data, both published and generated specifically for the study from experiments, including challenge studies. Those data describe the fate of E. coli in UCFM products or analogous environments in which low water activity or pH, or both, lead to the organism’s inactivation.

The results suggest that for inactivation to occur the composition of the sausage must be below the pH and water activity growth limits for E. coli, and that the rate of inactivation is related to the production/storage temperature.

It is intended that the model assist UCFM manufacturers in the development of HACCP plans and assist regulators to guide food safety policy decisions and its use for this purpose is endorsed by controlling authorities.

Food safety authorities recommend that UCFM manufacturers intending to use the model read the report "Predicting E. coli inactivation in uncooked comminuted fermented meat products" which can be downloaded below. The report provides an extensive review and analysis of published and unpublished studies regarding the UCFM process and the inactivation of E. coli during processing. This information will assist manufacturers understand the scientific basis for the model.

Download "Predicting E. coli inactivation in uncooked comminuted fermented meat products" (1.4 MB)

The Tool

This tool will give you a good estimate of how effective your fermented meat process is at killing E. coli.

Two calculators are provided. To use either, you'll need to know something about the times and temperatures of your fermentation and maturation processes. For small operations, the "Quick" calculator is more appropriate but for larger operations with laboratories and technical staff the "Advanced" version will be more useful, for example, if you have data from a temperature data logger.

Download the E. coli Inactivation Model Excel file (916 KB).

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