The UK Food Standards Agency inviting tenders for a research project to investigate the effectiveness of surface decontamination treatments for meat used in the production of raw or lightly cooked food products, such as sausages and burgers.
The association of undercooked burgers and other meat products with cases of foodborne disease have prompted the research call. The Agency says that the preparation of meat cuts by mincing can spread localised surface contamination throughout the meat, thus increasing the risk of infection if the product is undercooked.
The research project will aim to discover whether decontaminating the meat cuts with heat and/or organic acids prior to processing could reduce this risk. A range of meat cuts used to make burgers will be tested along with a range of possible treatments. Both naturally contaminated and inoculated meat samples will be included.
Applications to tender for the project should be received by the 17 January 2014 and more information can be found here.