• Contamination of Beef Carcasses during Hide Removal and use of a Test Bacterial Decontamination System on Beef Hide

      McEvoy, John M.; Doherty, Alice M.; Sheridan, James J.; McGuire, Liam (Teagasc, 2000-12)
      In Ireland, the Abattoirs Act, 1988 (Veterinary Examination) (Amendment), 1998 (S.I. No. 6, 1998) empowers the ante mortem veterinary inspector to reject animals for slaughter or require slaughter under special conditions, based on the level of visible hide contamination. Special conditions for slaughter include reduced line speed, increased space between animals and increased use of workstation hygiene facilities. Since their introduction in Ireland, cattle regulations have become more stringent and at present, both category 4 and 5 animals are rejected. However, a procedure for shaving accumulated hardened faeces (faecal clods) from category 4 and 5 animals has been introduced into most abattoirs, enabling them to reach the cleanliness standard. The potential risk of pathogens surviving in faecal clods on the hide of animals at slaughter is not known. This study examined: 1. The relationship between livestock cleanliness categories and the amount of contamination on the resultant carcasses. 2. The difference in bacterial contamination on carcasses from category 4 animals dressed without increased use of workstation hygiene facilities and those dressed with increased use of hygiene facilities. 3. The survival of E. coli O157:H7 in faecal clods
    • Development of a novel bulk packaging system for retail cuts of meat

      Allen, Paul; Doherty, Alice M.; Isdell, Emer (Teagasc, 1999-03)
      Meat colour is an important criterion in the appeal of meat to consumers at the point of sale. The bright red colour of fresh beef and lamb and the pinkish colour of fresh pork are due to the oxygenation of the myoglobin pigment when the meat is exposed to air. However, exposure to air over several days causes irreversible browning and rejection of the meat by consumers. The gaseous environment in which retail cuts are stored is therefore critical to ensure a good colour over the display life. Existing packaging systems do not have a sufficiently long storage life for the additional time required for exports from Ireland to the UK or continental Europe. The objective of this project was to develop a bulk packaging system for retail cuts that would have a sufficient shelf life to be used by the Irish industry to export retail ready cuts. In conclusion, a packaging system has been developed on a laboratory scale which is capable of extending the storage life of some beef cuts, lamb loin chops and pork loin chops. The display life of these after storage is comparable to fresh cuts. In order for this system to be commercialised it would have to be shown to work on a larger scale in a production environment.
    • Development of HACCP analysis systems for beef slaughter

      Doherty, Alice M.; McEvoy, John M.; Sheridan, James J.; McGuire, Liam; O'Sullivan, Marian; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland (Teagasc, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, 1999-01)
      The aim of this study was to establish the types and levels of bacterial contamination on beef carcasses slaughtered under commercial conditions. This information is necessary as baseline data for the implementation of a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan in a meat factory. Samples were taken over a twelve month period from five carcass sites representing the fore and hind quarters of the carcass. These included the hock, bung, inside round, cranial back and brisket. The carcasses were sampled at different stages of dressing namely legging, hide removal, evisceration, carcass splitting, carcass washing and chilling (24 h later). Four meat cuts (inside round, outside round, chuck roll (cranial back) and brisket) were also sampled after boning. Counts were enumerated for the following groups of bacteria: total bacterial counts (25°C and 4°C); pseudomonad counts (25°C and 4°C); E nterobacteriaceae counts; E scherichia coli O157:H7 and L isteria spp.