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New research boosts food safety in artisanal meats



Guelph, Ont. – With the help of the University of Guelph, meat processors have a new solution to control pathogens in fermented sausages.

The Agricultural Adaptation Council, which helped provide funding for the research, explains in a statement that since 2014, “provincially licensed meat processing plants have been required to adopt one of the five interventions identified in Health Canada’s Guideline 12 for the control of E.coli O157:H7 and Salmonella in fermented sausages.”

But heat over 33 degrees Celsius isn’t used in traditional processes for making fermented sausage products such as salami and summer sausage.

Meat processors had to find a way to comply with Health Canada – without affecting the taste and texture of the artisanal products.

Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety

The statement goes onto say that the Ontario Independent Meat Processors (OIMP) joined forces with three processors and used funding they received through Growing Forward 2 to approach the University of Guelph’s Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety (CRIFS) to help find a solution.

The OIMP “wanted to find a way for the industry to control pathogens in fermented sausages outside of the interventions approved by Health Canada.”

The statement says OIMP wanted its members to continue offering artisanal meat products “without compromising food safety and regulatory compliance.”

A team of researchers at CRIFS “developed a protocol that can decrease pathogens to Health Canada-approved levels by adding natural antimicrobials to the meat during the sausage-making process. The products are shelf-ready in only three to four weeks from the first day of processing, with no change in appearance or palatability, and the protocol is applicable to production batches of all sizes.”

The statement says everyone wanted a solution that meat processors could apply easily and right away.

And while the research project was focused on fermented sausages, the “principles of pathogen control could also be applicable to other ready-to-eat meat products, cheese, fruits and vegetables.”