What Micro Biotic Organisms Grow on Ham?
Microorganisms grow on meat in multiples due to the predispositions such an environment has on them in a profitable ecological niche. The physical and chemical properties allow and encourage the diverse growth of the microorganisms. Meat, more specifically ham, gets contaminated for various reasons, from workers, air and soil. Usually, meat is always contaminated but to manageable levels. However, in some instances, the extent of bacteria infestation is too much and often leads to its spoilage. It should be noted that even though meat differs in terms of composition and mode of production, the infestation from microorganisms occurs similarly. The heart which has gone wrong is characterized by the odour of the gas it produces and an irritating taste.
Raw ham is infested by microorganisms, which include gram-negative bacteria, lactic acid bacteria, and yeasts. After the ham was pasteurized, the number of bacteria reduced. The high-care treatment causes preference towards the lactic acid bacteria and Enterobacteriaceae. After slicing and covering, the refrigerated ham harbours cyanobacteria, leuconostocs, and thermosphacta.
What Are The Concentrations of Microorganisms in Ready-To-Eat Luncheon Meat?
In ready to eat tumbled meat that has not been preserved or treated, the bacterial concentration is 4.8 log (CFU g (-1)). However, after the high care treatment, the concentration decreases to 2 records (CFU g (-1)). The attention after packing and reducing falls significantly as the microorganisms are inactivated and do not reproduce anymore. In case there is no preservation, the meat reaches the spoilage point after a short time.
What Can Concentration of Bacteria be Consumed Without Causing Illness?
As highlighted in the case mentioned above, the concentration of bacteria that have not gone past the spoilage point is safe for consumption. The consumer should feed on a bacterial concentration that is higher than the first fresh concentration. It is not advisable to take it with a bacterial concentration of more than 4.8 logs (CFU g (-1)) in ham’s case. Foods after refrigeration should be handled more cautiously rather than that have not been refrigerated. Refrigeration causes the inactivation of microorganisms. However, after the temperatures are raised, the organisms grow faster.
How is Food Poisoning Defined?
Food poisoning is defined as a flu-like illness typically characterized by vomiting and diarrhea. The ingestion of contaminated food causes it. The food contains mainly monocytes, Vibrio vulnificus, and Norwalk virus. The following is a brief overview of how each of the microorganisms named above causes food poisoning.
The Norwalk virus is responsible for more than two-thirds of food poisoning that happens in the world. They are the fastest spreading microorganisms in contaminated food. They spoil the whole tainted food in a day or two and cause stomach upsets if consumed (Food 2009).
The leading cause of bacterial food poisoning is Campylobacter jejuni. They usually affect undercooked contaminated poultry meat. A drop of soup from such poultry meat is enough to make a grown adult sick. In 2 to5 days, the symptoms start kicking in with the abdomen’s cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting. In such a case, however, the diarrhea is bloody, and the victim suffers a fever.
Though salmonella does not cause a lot of food poisoning, most of the world’s food-related deaths are caused by bacteria. These deaths, however, affect older adults with a weak immune system. However, an expectant mother is in danger from the salmonella because of the risk associated with pregnancy due to compromised immunity and can lead to stillbirth (Food 2009).
How Does Storage Affect Meat Quality and Safety?
All meat should be stored below 400 F to prevent the development of bacterial pathogens on its surface. This is usually how meat is stored. Chilling is the most advantageous method of storing meat. It is chilled immediately after slaughter; poultry, beef, or animal meat. This ensures the removal of the heat associated with the animal’s body and preserves its properties.
For proper storage, handling the meat during storage should be familiar with the heart they are storing. Poultry, for example, should be kept within specified time frames and according to the size of the carcass. Whole carcasses are chilled on ice or icy water. Red meat or meat from big animals is stored in a blast cooler with many rapid moving chilled air (Food 2009).
Packaging comes naturally after storing it. It is significant since it determines whether the meat will be contaminated. Proper packaging ensures that the heart does not come into contact with all the pathogens in the atmosphere. It is stated that properly packaged perishable food can be stored for longer times with quality maintenance. Vacuum packaging is mostly advised because oxygen accelerates the physical and chemical spoilage of food and microbial contamination. More advanced packaging is also available, whereby instead of a vacuum, the air inside the package is replaced by other gases such as carbon dioxide or nitrogen.
Vehicles were also modified, and the meat is transported in a frozen state; hence, the pathogenic infestation was limited. The pathogens which are harmful enough to cause foodborne diseases are either dormant at this state, or they grow unusually slowly. The most vulnerable points for meat contamination are loading and offloading docks, where the people in charge should check that no package is contaminated (Food 2009).
Is Date Labeling For The Consumer or The Vendor?
The date labelling works as a two-way notice both for the vendor and the consumer. Once the date is almost, the vendor is obligated to take the product off the market. In turn, the consumers should check and see if the commodity they want to get off the shelf is fit for their consumption. Any item that is past the expiry date is past the spoilage point. The implication is that the pathogen’s activity is maximum, hence a possible food poisoning (Food 2009).
Does Freezing The Product Work To Extend The Expiration Date?
Freezing of foods slows down the growth of microorganisms and prevents any development of other pathogens. The more the world gets modernized, the longer foods can be stored. This study points out that the freezing of food can increase the expiry date. However, freezing does not extend the expiry date when the food is not refrigerated; the rate at which it goes wrong is accelerated than it usually should.
In conclusion, the food we eat gives nutrition. However, it can also have profound health implications if not handled properly. Although most microorganisms are harmless, some can cause disease or death.
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- Diane, M. (2009). Open shelf-life dating of food . Diane publishers.: Washington.
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- Robert, W. (2001). Meat Science and Applications. Columbia: CRC Press.
- William, T. (2007). Food safety and quality assurance: foods of animal origin. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.