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Pig carcasses decontaminated by steam cleaning

Using commercial household stream cleaning could be a low cost method of decontaminating beef and hog carcasses, a recent US study revealed.

Scientists at the University of Georgia, US, found that commercial household steam cleaning can be an effective and economical method of reducing naturally occurring bacteria on freshly slaughtered beef and hog carcasses.

Smaller meat processors

The discovery could offer a relatively simple yet effective way for smaller scale meat processors to meet strict food safety controls.

Tests were conducted on 72 beef and 72 hog carcasses from four small or very small processing plants.

Three sites on one side of each carcass were exposed to 60 seconds of steam treatment, while the other side remained untreated.

Samples were taken before, immediately after and 24 hours following the steam treatment.


Prior to treatment, Salmonella was found in five of the carcasses, but all tested negative for the pathogen after steam exposure, according to the study.

It found that aerobes, coliforms, and enterobacteriaceae at the three anatomical locations on both types of carcasses reduced following steam treatment.

The study found for swine carcasses, most bacteria were found on the belly, then jowl, followed by ham.

Related website:
• University of Georgia

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