Fates of Foodborne Pathogens in Raw Hams Manufactured Rapidly Using a New Patented Method

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To manufacture raw ham in an efficient manner, we recently developed a new system in which presliced pork loin was used, and the processing time was reduced to 5% of the conventional method. This study aimed to examine whether this raw ham could be as safe as ham produced by the conventional method. Pork loin spiked with enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes serotype 1/2c, Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis, and Staphylococcus aureus were processed using either the new or conventional method. The fate of the foodborne pathogens and behavior of hygiene indicator bacteria were examined. Whereas nitrite had disappeared during the conventional packaging process, the reduced processing time in the new system allowed for the ham to be vacuum packed with retention of the nitrite (6.9 ± 1.2 ppm, P < 0.01). This accounts for the prominent decrease in L. monocytogenes (2.3 log reduction in 35 days) and S. aureus (3.3 log reduction in 13 days) counts during storage. E. coli O157 and Salmonella Enteritidis were likely resistant to the nitrite in the ham. However, they were unable to multiply in the ham and decreased gradually as in the conventionally produced ham. The bacteriostatic nature of the raw ham was also indicated by the gradual decrease in coliforms (1.3 log reduction in 13 days) in nonspiked ham. In conclusion, the raw ham produced using presliced pork loin is practically as safe as conventionally produced raw ham. It is worth validating these results in a small-scale production setting.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Marudai Food Co. Ltd., 21-3, Osaka 569-8577, Japan 2: Department of Interdisciplinary Studies for Advanced Aged Society, Graduate School of Human Life Science, Osaka City University, 3-3-138, Osaka 558-8585, Japan. nisikawa@life.osaka-cu.ac.jp

Publication date: October 1, 2010

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