Grill cooks do whatever they can to improve the dining experience of their guests – adding herbs and spices, using special techniques and secret recipes. However, few cooks are aware that their beef and pork is being coated with a special “marinade” before it even arrives at the store.
This new special ingredient brings nothing to the dining experience, but may actually be the highlight of the meal. That’s because the marinade, applied at the meat processing plant, may help prevent countless people from suffering the gastrointestinal aftereffects of consuming meat tainted with bacteria, such as E. coli or Salmonella.
At the ARS Meat Safety and Quality Research Unit in Clay Center, NE, microbiologists Mick Bosilevac and Nor Kalchayanand, along with supervisory research food technologist Tommy Wheeler, teamed up to examine a relatively new food safety process: spraying beef and pork carcasses with an ozone solution to kill common pathogens.
“This project was part of a large farm-to-fork project that focused on cattle and swine, following them through harvest and concluding with finished beef and pork products ready for consumers,” Bosilevac said. “During harvest we improved on many processes to help reduce contamination.”