Chill and trim effects on the microbial load of pork carcasses
Carr, Mandy Annett
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In a two-part study, composited ham, loin, belly and shoulder samples from 30 pork carcasses in a 2 X 2 X 3 factorial study (hot-fat trim - HFT or nonfat trim - NFT X normal chill - NC or freeze chill - FC X day) had similar aerobic plate counts, averaging 5.5 log-,o CFU/g. The NFTNC procedure typically used in the industry, however, produced higher coliform and Staphylococcus spp. counts (P < .05). The HFTFC treatment had the lowest lactic acid bacteria (LAB) counts. Only one sample in 60 tested positive for Salmonella. Vacuum packaged hams and loins stored at 4°C for 14 d had similar ARC, LAB and Staphylococcus spp. counts regardless of trim, chill, or location treatment, averaging 5.7, 6.3 and 1.4 log^o CFU/g, respectively. Coliforms were higher (P < .05) on hams than loins on 2 of the 3 d sampled. The desire to reduce microbial loads on pork carcasses as a food safety issue and the coming implementation of HACCP warrants the use of trim and chill methods as critical control points or GMP/SOPs in the pork slaughter, processing and packaging industry.