Growth of total bacteria on fresh meat and heat-processed commodities was analyzed at refrigerated hypobaric and conventional cooler storage. When using the time required for bacterial levels to reach one million/in.2 as the estimate of the shelf life, the refrigerated hypobaric storage system substantially extended the shelf-life of broiler chickens, pork loins, bone-in heat-processed hams, and lamb and beef carcasses, as compared to storage in conventional coolers. The dominant microorganism isolated from the surface of the bone-in heat-processed hams stored in hypobaric and conventional coolers was a Streptococcus which was resistant to the heat process and tolerant to salt and sodium nitrite. For the fresh meat products, Pseudomonas was the dominant microorganism isolated from these products stored in either hypobaric or conventional coolers.

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