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Products like prosciutto undergo a weeks-long curing process followed by a drying step that work together to provide the necessary lethality of potentially harmful bacteria. Finished Product Packaging At the packaging stage in RTE meat processing plants, most products are placed into plastic bags with certain barrier properties to moisture and air. Times to reach a 2-log increase were greater than 50 days. Incidentally, the behavior of , 20% CO2 and 20% N2 had only slight differences compared with 100% N2 on growth of total viable bacteria and lactic acid bacteria on cooked turkey breast and pork sausage stored in film with an OTR less than 35 cm²/m². A survey of retail and deli unpackaged ham in New Zealand found 4.5% of 301 samples contained all declined by at least 1 log CFU, and after 46 days, some of the pathogens were undetectable. These same three foodborne pathogens were later shown to decline on soudjouk-style fermented semi-dry sausage stored vacuum-packaged at refrigerated, ambient and abusive temperatures. The rates of decline of the pathogens increased with increasing storage temperature. The primary purpose of modified atmosphere or vacuum packaging is to delay oxidative rancidity of the lipids, and a secondary purpose is to delay microbial growth during shelf life. United States Department of Agriculture-Food Safety and Inspection Service. Packaging film for RTE meats is typically comprised of coextruded plastic materials, including combinations of nylon, polyethylene and polyvinyl dichloride. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U. Department of Agriculture-Food Safety Inspection Service, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quantitative assessment of relative risk to public health from foodborne among selected categories of ready-to-eat foods. United States Department of Agriculture-Food Safety and Inspection Service. As such, risk assessments should be conducted on these products in the finished packaged form to include assessment of their ability to prevent the growth of the pathogen for the duration of the refrigerated shelf life. Products neither fermented nor dried (e.g., ham, turkey breast and bologna) are frequently formulated with antimicrobial agents, such as sodium or potassium lactate and sodium diacetate.
Once the packaging seal is broken, these barrier properties are lost.
Others confirmed that generic was greater with higher storage temperature: 25 °C (77 °F) greater than 15 °C (59 °F) greater than 5 °C (41 °F) storage.
Additionally, vacuum packaging resulted in slower destruction of the pathogen than air packaging, and this effect increased as storage temperature decreased.
Department of Agriculture (USDA)-inspected processing plants must achieve appropriate lethality of the most resistant vegetative bacterial pathogens reasonably likely to occur.
Products like pepperoni and hard salami are seeded with starter cultures, fermented and dried to achieve lethality and then cooled prior to final packaging. United States Department of Agriculture-Food Safety and Inspection Service.