Chilling and trimming effects on the microbial populations of pork carcasses

Mandy A. Carr, Leslie D. Thompson, Mark F. Miller, C. Boyd Ramsey, Collette S. Kaster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The effects of chilling (normal chill or freeze chill) and trimming (hot fat trim or no fat trim) on the microbial populations of pork carcasses were evaluated. In a two-part study, composited ham, loin, belly, and shoulder samples from 30 pork carcasses had similar aerobic plate counts, averaging 5.5 log10 CFU/cm2. The nofat trim, normal chill procedure typically used in the industry, however, product higher coliform and Staphylococcus spp. counts (P < 0.05). The hot fat trim, freeze chill treatment had the lowest lactic acid bacteria counts. Only 1 sample in 60 tested positive for Salmonella spp. Vacuum-packaged hams and loins stored at 4°C for 14 days had similar (P > 0.05) aerobic plate counts, lactic acid bacteria and Staphylococcus spp. counts regardless of trim, chill, or the location of treatment, averaging 5.7, 6.3 and 1.4 log10 CFU/cm2, respectively. Hams had higher counts than loins all three days; however, only the difference on day 2 was significant. The desire to reduce microbial populations on pork carcasses as a food-safety issue and the coming implementation of hazard analysis critical control points (HACCP) programs warrants the use of trimming and chilling methods as critical control points or good manufacturing practices and standard operating procedures in the pork slaughter, processing, and packaging industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-489
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of food protection
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1998


Dive into the research topics of 'Chilling and trimming effects on the microbial populations of pork carcasses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this