The animals that used in meat products contain some microorganisms in the various parts of their body. Some of the organisms are of importance while others being harmful to the consumer, responsible for food poisoning and are known as potential hazards to health. Meat gets contaminated with microbial coming about through ineffective handling, processing or during storage.
Inappropriate storage leads to the development of yeasts and growth of bacteria on these meat products, causing them to start rotting producing an unpleasant smell. They minimize the shelf life of these meat leading to loses especially in processing companies. Proper storage of beef especially the smoked meat will preserve the meat for a bit longer time as compared to one poorly stored
Smoking or cooking the meat reduces the population of the microbial organism present in the meat mostly thermo-labile anaerobes, but some
thermophilic anaerobes remain undestroyed. Smoke has anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties effective at minimizing growth. Smoked meat has minimum water content and high concentration of salt as compared to unsmoked meat, but microorganism can still grow if not managed well. Introduction of the heat interferes with the multiplication of the microbial, the amount of temperature applied and duration of heating to this meat determines the number of this microbial that end up getting destroyed.
Smoking can be of two types, cold smoking, and hot smoking. Hot smoking is more effective than cold smoking, as it cooks while smoking, it has temperatures of above 75 degree Celsius unlike cold smoke with a temperature of below 50 degrees Celsius not enough to eradicate the microorganisms. Under say, 500 bucks of meat smoker available are useful in smoking meat with sufficient eradication of these microorganisms. Therefore one has to choose an appropriate smoker when purchasing for one. Picking one that maintains constant optimum temperature with no heat fluctuation resulting in the production of meat that is good for the health of family and friends. Consider retaining the meat smoker at a hygienic condition.
Smoking meat does not guarantee the meat safe for human consumption, and they increase the risk of getting unwanted diseases. Studies carried out to indicate the microorganisms associated with smoked meat, and they include mycotoxigenic fungi, Aspergillus, Penicillium and Europium species which produces mycotoxins. World Health Organization mentions that most methods used in the preservation of meat especially smoking increases risk of cancer to the consumer especially colorectal cancer.
Processed meat not adequately cooked contains mainly the following microorganisms that are potentially harmful to one’s health:
Enterobacteria species, Salmonella typhimurium, and Listeria monocytogenes. Meat that is safe for consumption must be free of this disease-causing microbial. Failure to meet the required standards the meat should not be sold to customers putting them at risk. Practicing proper storage, packaging and manufacturing of the meat product reduce the chances of contamination.
Inappropriate handling of smoked meat can lead to contamination, cleaning of hands, the working surface before handling the meat and post-production pasteurization is effective in reducing the further activity of the microorganisms. Meat that is undercooked is harmful to the health, and smoking lessens the microbial growth hence sufficient cooking ensures complete eradication.