Risk Assessment of Botulism from Chilled, VP/MAP (Vacuum Packed/Modified Atmosphere Packed) Fresh Me


Risk Assessment of Botulism from Chilled, VP/MAP (Vacuum Packed/Modified Atmosphere Packed) Fresh Meat held at 3°C to 8°C


  26/03/2019 13:58:59

The UK Food Standards Agency VP/MAP (Vacuum Packed/Modified Atmosphere Packed) Guidance (FSA, 2017) restricts the shelf-life of VP/MAP foods (including fresh meat) held at 3°C to 8°C to 10 days, unless suitable grounds for a longer shelf-life can be identified.

QIB Extra on behalf of Meat Livestock Australia (MLA) and The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) undertook a project using a risk assessment approach and carried out a challenge test experiment, to establish whether a shelf-life of greater than 10 days can be applied to fresh chilled meat (as it lacks a single known controlling factor). Fresh meat is taken to mean "meat that has not undergone any preserving process other than chilling, freezing or quick-freezing, including meat that is VP or MAP wrapped". 

The project concluded that there is no evidence that currently-applied UK shelf lives combined with current production standards are unsafe. If changes are made to industry practice, then these may affect the level of protection. 

In addition a challenge test study carried out by QIB Extra demonstrated that samples of beef and lamb inoculated with spores of non-proteolytic C. botulinum and incubated at 8°C, did not become toxic to day 50 for beef, day 35 for lamb, or day 25 for pork (i.e. <40 pg type B toxin g-1 of meat and <40 pg type E toxin g-1 of meat).

The estimation of the level of protection and the results from the challenge test experiment both support a shelf-life of greater than 10 days for fresh chilled beef, lamb and pork held at 3°C to 8°C, and also support currently-applied UK shelf lives combined with current production standards.

For more information and to download the full report click here


 

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