The hygienic performance of a commercial beef carcass cooling process was assessed by a temperature function integration technique. The process involves the automatic loading of beef sides into two continuous chillers, where the sides are periodically sprayed with water during the early part of the process, and subsequently are exposed to subzero air temperatures. The times required for the beef sides to cool to a deep temperature of 7°C indicated that the process was in accord with currently accepted views of Good Manufacturing Practice. The potential proliferations of Escherichia coli were calculated from 48 temperature histories obtained from the site-on-side surfaces that have been shown to remain at the highest temperatures for the longest periods. The extent of calculated E. coli proliferation did not correlate significantly with the time for deep tissue to cool to a chilled temperature. The range of proliferation values was comparable with the ranges obtained for other, dissimilar meat cooling processes. The spray-chilling process therefore met with a temperature function integration criterion for the hygienic adequacy of meat cooling processes that had been proposed on the basis of the finding from other meat cooling procedures.

This content is only available as a PDF.