Ensuring the safety and quality of its products presents significant challenges for the meat industry. Bacterial contamination, spoilage, and other issues can pose health risks for consumers and lead to economic losses for producers.
Microorganisms thrive and bacteria spread easily in meat, making it an ideal breeding ground for pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli. These pathogens naturally reside in the intestines and can become contaminated during transportation, slaughter, and production. Cross-contamination is a significant concern in the food industry, particularly in the processing of meat, where food contact surfaces such as knives and cutting boards can easily become contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms. The transfer of microorganisms from these surfaces to the meat can result in an increased risk of foodborne illness.
Meat is highly perishable because of its high protein and moisture content, which makes it vulnerable to spoilage and deterioration. Moreover, apart from the risk of contamination during production, transportation, and refrigeration, the perishable nature of meat poses a significant challenge.
Effective disinfection methods are crucial for controlling contamination in meat and reducing the incidence of foodborne illnesses. The use of proper hygiene practices and disinfectants such as ozone can aid in mitigating the risks of contamination in meat products. Ozone disinfection is an excellent solution for meat disinfection.
Powerful Ozone Disinfection
Poultry products are most commonly associated with Salmonella contamination. To remove or control contamination during carcass processing, a combination of thermal treatment, water, and chemical antimicrobials like peracetic acid (PAA) is currently used. However, these chemical antimicrobials can be toxic before and after oxidation, and their use can negatively impact meat quality by altering color and texture and producing off-flavors. Furthermore, chemical antimicrobials are costly and can leave hazardous residues, making them less than ideal.
To reduce sanitation and disinfection costs, the food industry is now turning to ozone disinfection. Ozone is an effective and safe disinfectant, 1.5 times more powerful than chlorine and 3000 times more reactive. Research has demonstrated that ozone disinfection is effective in combating common meat microorganisms, parasites, and viruses, including Salmonella, mesophilic, and Escherichia coli. Ozone is a fast-acting bactericidal agent with no residual effects, making it a safe and cost-effective disinfection solution. For example, treating carcasses with ozonized water can diminish microorganism levels, resulting in better meat quality and longer shelf life.
Ozone is not only a powerful antimicrobial agent but also a safe and cost-effective disinfection solution that does not leave behind any residues. Another advantage of using ozone disinfection for meat is that it does not affect the taste, texture, or color of meat, making it an appealing alternative for the industry.
Lower Early Chick Mortality
The use of ozonated water in various poultry applications can significantly reduce early chick mortality. Ozonated water is utilized in a broad range of processes, such as egg hatcheries, potable water in poultry houses, disinfection of the interior of poultry houses during period changes, production areas, chiller units, and process water disinfection.
The poultry industry can benefit greatly from ozone, as it can lead to improved chicken health and a decrease in the need for vaccines and medications. Ozone disinfection is also utilized for disinfecting incubators, nest boxes, and production farms, effectively combating pathogens like E. coli and Pseudomonas. Unlike other chemical disinfectants such as formaldehyde, methanol, peracetic acid, and chlorine, ozone is a natural disinfectant that does not leave any residue and has no risk of chemical residues. By harnessing powerful ozone disinfection, the poultry industry can produce higher-quality, healthier products with an extended shelf life while simultaneously promoting animal welfare.
Ozone Means Safe and Effective
Ozone has been approved by the FDA as a safe and effective antimicrobial agent for all food processing, including poultry meat, to ensure food safety. This approval provides an alternative to traditional chemical antimicrobials, which can be hazardous and leave harmful residues. By implementing ozone in food processing, food manufacturers can guarantee the safety and quality of their products while simultaneously reducing costs and promoting sustainability. Ozone disinfection has proven effective in combating a variety of foodborne pathogens, making it a valuable asset in the battle against foodborne illness.