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Effects of Preparation Methods on the Microbiological Safety of Home-Dried Meat Jerky

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Historically, drying meats to produce jerky was considered to be a safe preservation process and the convenience and flavor of jerky has made it a popular food product for home food preservers. Recent outbreaks of foodborne illness related to both home-dried and commercially manufactured jerky have raised concerns about the safety of the product. Some traditional home recipes and drying processes were shown to be inadequate to destroy Escherichia coli O157, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Listeria monocytogenes in both whole-muscle and ground-meat jerky. Several research studies have identified processes such as precooking meats before drying, using acidic marinades, cooking meats after drying, or some combination of these treatments that can destroy pathogens of concern to produce microbiologically safe and palatable meat jerky at home.

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Foods and Nutrition, University of Georgia 2: Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia 3: Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University 4: Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University

Publication date: October 1, 2004

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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