New technologies aim to keep salmonella off the menu

A new software program can predict the precise amount of salmonella lurking in pork before it hits the supermarket shelves, according to researchers. 

Developed by the UK's Institute of Food Research, the US Department of Agriculture, and Australia's Food Safety Centre, the program traces the cause of salmonella, or any bacterial contamination, along the food supply chain, which the researchers say can be difficult due to varying environmental conditions.

The database, dubbed Combase, pulls together microbial growth data in various environments taking note of temperature, pH, and water activity and alerting users to predicted contamination levels during the meat packaging process. Research on the technology was published earlier this year, and food industry magazine Food Production Daily reported on the new software on May 2.

While meat packaging plants rely on sensors to get readings on pathogen contamination, a new nanotechnology-based biosensor announced in March and being developed by US researchers aims to give the industry a boost. The biosensor technology uses carbon nanofibers to detect bacteria at an early stage - and the scientists say they plan to integrate it into a handheld electronic device for detecting pathogens anytime, anywhere at industrial processing sites.

Other advances in food safety include a new sensor film being devised by researchers at the University of Rochester in the US. The film relies on a sand-grain-sized silicon wafer that can differentiate between two classes of bacteria, Gram-positive and Gram-negative, and "stains" them different colors. The scientists aim to use the film as a plastic wrap, for example, around raw meat that could change color cautioning when the meat is contaminated.

In the meantime, there are several low-tech ways to avoid getting infected with salmonella and other food-borne bacteria from pork, which often carries the parasite trichinella spiralis as well.

- When shopping, keep all meats separate to avoid cross-contamination from juices.
- Pork should be placed immediately in the freezer or fridge to prevent the growth of bacteria; never refreeze thawed pork.
- When handling pork, use a meat-only cutting board and always thoroughly wash anything (knives, other utensils, hands) that has touched raw pork
- When cooking pork, make sure it has a temperature of 160 degrees F (71 degrees C) and use a meat thermometer.

Read more on the new software: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Quality-Safety/New-software-tool-to-predict-Salmonella-levels-in-pork

Access an abstract of the study in the International Journal of Food Microbiology: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20951457

For tips on safe methods for cooking pork: http://www.meateat.co.uk/cooking-pork-safety-rules-recipes.html

 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

    £90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: We are currently looking for a Geog...

    Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key Stage 1

    Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...

    Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher

    Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...

    Tradewind Recruitment: History Teacher

    Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee