New microwave technology for Australia may reduce food safety risk in rare meat

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 9th April 2018

Australians may one day be able to eat rare meat without having to worry about food poisoning thanks to new technology currently under testing.

In addressing a growing trend of eating rare meat, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) has conducted independent trials of US developed microwave technology that can be used on meat for less than one second to significantly reduce the amount of bacteria.

The technology has be proven to reduce the amount of bacteria in meat like E.coli.

MLA Program Manager – Market Access Science and Technology, Dr Ian Jenson, said undercooking of red meat has become popular, especially in restaurants.

“Government regulations also require meat to be completely free of harmful microorganisms,” Dr Jenson said.

“We have been working towards these outcomes for a number of years and these latest trial results are positive in that we now have a technology that is capable of achieving both of these.

“The results are equivalent to the pasteurisation process for milk, which makes it a better technology than everything except irradiation, which is not acceptable to most consumers.”

Despite initial positive results in the testing process, Dr Jenson said there is considerably more work to do before the technology can be applied to the meat-processing sector.

“This is a significant milestone in our efforts to improve the efficiency of processing, and ensuring acceptability and premium pricing for our product in all markets,” Dr Jenson said.

“Further research and development work will now occur through MLA’s subsidiary company – MLA Donor Company (MDC) – and will utilise funds from technology developers rather than red meat industry levies.


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