Beef jerky is a convenient, ready-to-eat meat product, but requires processing lethality steps to ensure the safety of the product. Previous outbreaks involving various jerky products have highlighted the risks associated with jerky and the importance of utilizing pathogen interventions during processing. In this study, two alternative interventions were evaluated for reducing pathogen populations during jerky processing. Results demonstrated that high pressure processing (HPP; two treatments of 550MPa, 60s) could produce significant (p<0.05), but variable reductions (6.83 and 4.45log10CFU/strip) of Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli O157:H7, respectively, on resulting beef jerky. HPP treatments, however, produced minor reductions (p<0.05) of Gram-positive pathogens, resulting in reductions of 1.28 and 1.32log10CFU/strip of Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus, respectively. Alternatively, boiling water (100±2°C) treatments (20-30s) used after marination and prior to dehydration, reduced Salmonella spp., E.coli O157:H7, L.monocytogenes, and S.aureus populations >5.0log10CFU/strip in resulting beef jerky. Thus, 20 or 30s boiling water (100±2°C) treatments could be effective interventions for commercial jerky processors or home food preservers. Future validation of these processes in-plant could provide processors and regulators with alternative strategies for safe and shelf-stable jerky products.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science