Time between slaughter and mincing could be extended, says EFSA

Time between slaughter and mincing could be extended, says EFSA

A scientific opinion has been published by The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which has concluded that the time between slaughter and the mincing of meat could be extended without causing a health risk.

The panel assessed various storage times and temperatures for different types of meat, analysing and comparing the growth in bacteria.

Increasing the time following slaughter and prior to mincing would not cause additional pathogenic bacteria if permitted storage temperatures are lowered, the opinion said.

Red meat carcasses must be immediately chilled after post-mortem inspection to not more than seven degrees Celsius throughout, according to current legislation. This temperature must be maintained until mincing which should take place no more than six or 15 (vacuum-packed meat) days after slaughter.

This new analysis from EFSA suggested, for example, that red meat, vacuum packed beef and poultry could be stored at 2 °C for up to 14, 39 and 5 days, respectively, without more bacterial pathogen growth occurring than that which would be achieved under current legislative conditions.

However, the impact of spoilage on maximum storage times was not considered.

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