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ROCKLIN, Calif. -- In the wake of numerous food recalls, illnesses and deaths, the ready-to-eat (RTE) meat industry is looking for ways to make its products safer for the consumer. Mionix Corporation is striving to help the industry eliminate Listeria contamination with products containing Mionix's proprietary compound called acidic calcium sulfate.
L. monocytogenes, or Listeria, can cause Listeriosis which is considered a serious threat because -- even though it doesn't affect that much of the population -- when it does strike, it can be deadly.
"In humans, Listeriosis can cause flu-like symptoms, meningitis, spontaneous abortions and prenatal septicemia," says Dr. Jimmy Keeton of Texas A&M University. It is estimated that 20 percent of Listeriosis cases result in death. Listeria grows at refrigerator temperatures and is most commonly associated with RTE products such as hot dogs, lunchmeat, smoked fish and certain types of soft cheeses.
Mionix Safe(2)O RTE Meat Solution is showing great potential as a product that not only kills the Listeria on the surface of products, but also keeps it from coming back. Research had already shown that adding substances such as lactic acid and sodium lactate created microbiological hurdles to organisms such as Listeria but still, these were not considered entirely effective against the regrowth of the organism. Researchers at Texas A&M University found that the Mionix Safe(2)O RTE Meat Solution killed the Listeria and also had a more beneficial residual effect than all other tested products. "The organism didn't come back," Keeton said.
The Texas A&M study was funded by the American Meat Institute Foundation, whose members are from the meat industry. A summary of the research also has been sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service as a validation study to gain support for the use of this material.
The USDA is presently considering policies on how to control Listeria in processing plants. In November 2002, the USDA released an administrative directive outlining additional steps to be taken by its inspectors to ensure that establishments producing RTE meat and poultry products are taking the necessary steps to prevent contamination with Listeria. Under the directive, plants producing high and medium risk RTE products such as deli meats and hot dogs that do not have an evaluated environmental testing regimen designed to find and take necessary actions to eliminate Listeria, will be placed under an intensified testing program by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. The program will consist of increased testing of the final product, contact surfaces, and plant environment. Mionix Safe(2)O RTE Meat Solution can be an excellent addition to RTE food processors program to meet the USDA directives.
Safe(2)O RTE Meat Solution is a low pH proprietary blend of GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) inorganic and organic reagents manufactured by Mionix Corporation and is an FDA approved food additive.
Source: Mionix Corporation