The overall value of Irelands beef exports is worth approximately €2.5bn which is an annual increase of 5 % in 2017. However, the beef industry faces many challenges to export products to distant markets including a short shelf life and other economic losses that are mainly caused by microbial contamination. One of the simplest approaches to limit this contamination on the surfaces of beef carcasses is to use alternative carcass chill regimes. Carcasses underwent an industry standard chill process (10 °C for 10 h followed by 0 °C for 38 h) and were compared with carcasses that underwent a more rapidly chilled process (0 °C for 5 h and −2 °C for 3 h). Bacterial concentrations (mesophilic and psychrophilic total viable counts, total Enterobacteriaceae counts, Lactic Acid Bacteria, Pseudomonas spp., Brochothrix thermosphacta, Clostridium spp.), physiochemical (pH, temperature, water activity (aw)) and organoleptic (colour, odour, texture) changes were monitored throughout the entire beef food chain (carcass → primal → retail steak) until end of shelf life. Rapidly chilled carcasses had significantly (P<0.05) less bacterial surface contamination compared to conventionally chilled carcasses. There was also significantly (P<0.05) less evaporative loss on carcasses and primals which will have a positive economic impact on the beef industry. This longitudinal study is one of the largest trials ever performed on beef shelf life extension.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Most cited this month Most Cited RSS feed

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error