The objective of this study was to determine the role of meat aging process on survival of male specific bacteriophage MS2 on meat. MS2 was used as a viral surrogate to study the impact of aging on enteric viruses on lamb meat. They were spiked at concentration of 10, 103, and 105 pfu on lamb chops sliced into cuts of meats at 10 × 10 × 1.5 cm3, and were stored at 4°C for 14 days. Physicochemical characteristics such as pH, oxidation-reduction potential, water holding capacity and total count of mesophilic bacteria as well as MS2 were measured during the aging. The results indicated that the aging were not sufficient to completely inactivate all spiked MS2 on the lamb meat. However, physicochemical changes during muscle convert to meat significantly reduced MS2 survival (p < .05). The results also indicated that by increasing the spiked concentration of MS2, the survival rate of virus was significantly increased (p < .05). Practical applications: Meat is one of the most consumed foods around the world that can be considered as a source of food borne illnesses. There are increasing concerns regarding zoonotic transmission of some animal enteric viruses which are closely related to human-pathogenic strains via meat and other animal products. However, little research has been conducted on the survival of enteric viruses in meat. Given the novel results of this study, it can be concluded that although physicochemical changes during muscle conversion to meat reduced virus survival, aging process is not sufficient for complete inactivation of viruses. So, the safety of food depends on proper treatment processes and level of contamination of food products.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science