A Safety Monitoring and Assurance System (SMAS) for meat products will be developed. SMAS integrates kinetic models for dominant meat pathogens and spoilage bacteria, risk assessment techniques and the capacity to monitor single product temperature history with Time Temperature Integrators (TTI), into an effective chill chain decision and management tool. TTI of high accuracy and suitable design for safety monitoring will be developed and optimised. Models will be refined for reliable prediction of meat safety and spoilage. SMAS will be validated in real conditions and provide the meat sector the ability to control its weak link, the chill chain, and deliver to the consumer's table safe meat products of high hygienic quality. It will satisfy the consumer that state-of-the-art methods and technology can guarantee him low risk-high quality meat products and thus help restore the image and increase competitiveness of the EU meat sector.
The overall objective of the development of SMAS, an effective safety assurance and quality optimisation management system of meat products, extending from production to the consumer, comprises the following objectives:
- Modelling the effect of food structure, microbial interactions and dynamic storage conditions on meat pathogens and spoilage bacteria;
- Combination of validated pathogen growth models with data on prevalence/concentration, dose response and chill chain conditions for risk assessment with and without SMAS application;
- Development, modelling and optimisation of TTI with accuracy to monitor microbiological safety of meat products;
- Development of SMAS into a user-friendly computer software;
- Evaluation of the applicability and effectiveness of SMAS in real conditions of meat distribution;
- Assessment of the industry acceptance of the TTI and the concept of chill chain management;
- Evaluation of EU consumer attitude on use of TTI.
The main milestones in this project are:
- Successful development of refined predictive models accurate for safety and spoilage prediction of meat products in actual dynamic conditions;
- Design and development of optimised TTI with accurate response kinetics, suitable for safety monitoring;
- Availability in software of the intelligent management Safety Monitoring and Assurance System (SMAS);
- Effective application of SMAS in the real meat chill chain.