Microbial evaluation of poultry and pork mechanically separated meat (MSM), compared to fresh cuts of meat, meat preparations and minced meat products

This project will provide data and evidence to inform the FSA of the microbial safety of mechanically separated meat (MSM) from poultry and pork when compared to fresh cuts of meat, meat preparations and minced meat products.
Study duration: August 2014 to July 2016
Project code: FS514103
Contractor: University of Lincoln
Lead author: Valerie Braybrooks

Background

European Union legislation (Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004) describes two types of MSM. Techniques that do not alter the structure of the bones produce a product known as 'Type 1 MSM', where the calcium content is not significantly higher than that of minced meat. All other processes produce a product known as 'Type 2 MSM'.

 The overall purpose of this project is to provide data and scientific evidence to support the FSA’s assessment of whether current restrictions on the use of MSM from poultry and pork are appropriate and proportionate for the protection of public health.  This project will expand on work already carried out for the FSA and will involve microbial data collection to identify the types and abundance of microbes present in Types 1 and 2 MSM.

Research Approach

The project will be carried out by food engineers, food microbiologists and microscopists with the involvement of poultry and pork processing companies.

The following approach will be taken:

  1. Literature reviews will be undertaken of the microbiology of pork and poultry MSM, mince, meat preparations and fresh meat cuts as well as the modelling of microbial growth/survival.
  2. Identification of any differences in the presence of pathogens in different types of MSM, mince, meat preparations and fresh meat cuts will be established.
  3. Any differences in the ability of different types of MSM, mince, meat preparations and fresh meat cuts to support the growth of microorganisms will be identified.
  4. There will be an examination of the microbiological changes that occur during the processing (chilling, freezing and storage processes) of MSM, mince and meat preparations.
  5. The factors that control the microbiological quality and safety of the product, ie time, temperature, water activity and physical condition of the product during the production of MSM, mince and meat preparations will be examined.
  6. The project findings will be disseminated.