Date of Graduation

5-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Poultry Science (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Poultry Science

Advisor

John Marcy

Committee Member

James Denton

Second Committee Member

H. L. Goodwin

Third Committee Member

Richard Linton

Fourth Committee Member

Michael Slavik

Keywords

Biological sicences; Food safety; Foodbourne pathogens; Microbial inactivation; Pepperoni; Salmonellae

Abstract

Salmonellosis is the most frequently occurring bacterial foodborne illness in the United States and the human case rate has not improved for the past two decades. The federal agency responsible for oversight of meat and poultry processors has announced the intent to extend existing pathogen reduction performance standards for Salmonella spp. to cover all classes of products including fermented sausages that are currently produced under HACCP plans that are validated for control of Escherichia coli O157:H7. The proposed regulatory modifications will require processors to revalidate HACCP plan controls to achieve either a 6.5 or a 7.0 log10 inactivation of the salmonellae. Validated and accepted predictive microbial inactivation models that may be used to estimate the inactivation effects achieved for different product formulations under different processing conditions hold the potential to substantially reduce the impact that the proposed regulatory changes might have on the industry. This review examines the history of food preservation; the history of fermented sausages; the pepperoni production process; the food safety hazards most often associated with fermented sausage products; recent outbreaks of illness associated with fermented meat products; and the process controls that may be employed to prevent foodborne illness from consumption of fermented sausage products. The papers intended for publication will be beneficial to processors of pepperoni, providing a modeled estimate of the log10 reductions achieved under a variety of processing conditions.

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