Technology helps minimise bacteria on meat

Odour management firm Dax Airscience is working alongside a prominent UK beef supplier to help reduce the level of bacteria found on beef carcases.

The disinfection technology, Airsteril, is capable of eradicating a remarkable 97% of bacteria on carcases, according to Dax Airscience.

“When the system is in operation, the Airsteril Unit creates an advanced oxidation process consisting of hydroxyl radicals, super oxide ions and hydroxide ions,” explained Paul Anderson, Dax Airscience technical director.

The company usually employs two varieties of systems to treat the air in food plants: in-duct and ambient systems.

Anderson added: “All are friendly oxidisers that revert back to oxygen and hydrogen after the oxidation of the pollutant.”

To prove the success of Airsteril, Dax selected two identical chillers containing animal carcases. One was installed with the new technology, while the other remained untouched. The meat was swabbed both before and after 48 hours within the chillers.

After two days of being chilled, it was found that the carcases in the treated chiller experienced a Total Viable Count (TVC) and entero (intestine) reduction of 90%. Countering these findings, the meat in the chiller that had not been installed with the system saw only a minimal decrease in bacteria.

The Airsteril technology can offer non-chemical, anti-microbial treatment while protecting products from human error or other cross-contamination hazards.

According to Dax, the innovative piece of technology has been found to control salmonella, listeria monocytogenes, escherichia coli 0157:H7, and staphylococcus aureus, alongside mould, yeast and viruses.

“At this stage we are working with only a few companies to build a portfolio of successful applications before offering it to the open market. We are actively seeking a poultry producer to conduct work on campylobacter destruction,” concluded Anderson.

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