Maintaining the cold chain

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a report which concludes that meat may be transported at temperatures higher than the current maximum of 7°C without causing additional bacterial growth. 

However, the report goes on to qualify this conclusion by stipulating that specific maximum transport times are applied and bacterial growth is controlled by efficient chilling. The EFSA recommends specific combinations of maximum temperatures of the carcasses and transport times that do not increase bacterial growth.

The European Commission requested the study on whether or not it was possible to apply alternative core temperatures (higher than the current requirement of 7 °C in Regulation 853/2004) in combination with specific transport durations for carcasses after slaughter without increasing the risk associated with the growth of pathogenic micro-organisms.

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