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Behavior of Researchers from Colorado State University simulated contamination of RTE meats during slicing and handling at retail or at home. Uncured, cooked turkey breast was vacuum-packaged and stored at 4 °C (39.2 °F) for 5, 15, 25 and 50 days before being opened, sliced and inoculated with . Inoculated turkey breast was stored aerobically in delicatessen bags at 7 °C (44.6 °F) for 12 days. Viability of multi-strain mixtures of O157: H7 inoculated into the batter or onto the surface of a soudjouk-style fermented semi-dry sausage.
Packaging film for RTE meats is typically comprised of coextruded plastic materials, including combinations of nylon, polyethylene and polyvinyl dichloride. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U. Department of Agriculture-Food Safety Inspection Service, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quantitative assessment of relative risk to public health from foodborne among selected categories of ready-to-eat foods. United States Department of Agriculture-Food Safety and Inspection Service. A separate study found that storage of vacuum-packaged pepperoni sticks at 4 or 21 °C (39 or 70 °F) caused O157: H7 during fermentation, drying and storage of full and reduced fat pepperoni under air or vacuum but found few significant differences. Reductions were greater when pepperoni was stored at room temperature compared with refrigeration. Others found that post-process inoculated 1.5 log CFU/cm² in 6 days) on pepperoni under refrigeration and even more rapidly at ambient temperature. Foodborne bacterial pathogens do not survive well on dry-cured pork products either. In this retail/home-contamination simulation, mean growth rates (log CFU/cm²/day) of the pathogen during aerobic storage ranged from 0.14 to 0.16 in product with lactate and diacetate, equating to about a 2-log increase in on turkey breast within about 14 days. In similar work performed on cured ham with lactate and diacetate, the growth rates ranged from 0.18 to 0.25 log CFU/cm²/day, equating to a 2-log increase on opened packages of ham within about 10 days.