The primary objectives of the Meat Safety and Quality Research Unit are to reduce the risk of foodborne illness associated with the consumption of red meat, to respond to the research needs of the USDA action and regulatory agencies, to increase efficiency of lean meat production, and to improve eating quality of meat. Pre- and post-harvest food safety research addresses the microbial status of live animals and meat from farm to table using both molecular and standard microbiological techniques. Unique methods are developed and validated as necessary for sampling, isolating and identifying pathogenic and spoilage bacteria. Sources of pathogens and approaches for their control at various stages of livestock and meat production are determined in order to reduce the risk of pathogen contamination of meat, other food products, water, and the environment by meat animals. Approaches include determining mechanisms of pathogen infection, colonization, and shedding by meat animals, development and validation of specific and sensitive detection methodologies, and interventions for control of pathogens in meat products, meat animals and the production environment. Meat quality research is directed toward identification of areas of the genome that regulate carcass composition and meat quality, the development of methodologies to classify carcasses based on meat quality traits and lean meat yield, the effect of breed on carcass composition and meat quality, and the development of strategies to optimize meat quality, especially tenderness.
Title: Pathogen Mitigation in Livestock and Red Meat Production
Develop and validate intervention strategies that reduce or eliminate foodborne pathogens at the animal and processing levels.
Determine and validate detection methods for foodborne pathogen colonization and contamination at various stages in the production of red meat.
Examine host pathogen interactions with an emphasis on host-specific determinants of pathogen colonization.
Title: Exploring Genomic Differences and Ecological Reservoirs to Control Foodborne Pathogens
Molecular characterization of the genomic and transcriptomic differences present in foodborne pathogens (particularly Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) and Salmonella spp.) to provide an understanding of genetic variation.
Survey ecological niches and reservoirs using a systems approach to identify sites for potential inverventions to reduce foodborne pathogens.
Identify how foodborne pathogens acquire, maintain and transmit genes for antimicrobial resistance and virulence within cattle from production to processing.
Title: Prevention of Pathogen Transmission from Animal Manure to Food, Water, and Environment
Identify the ecological and environmental factors, as well as critical points, that affect pathogen occurrence, survival, fate, and transport in cattle and swine production facilities, manure, and surrounding environments.
Develop and evaluate intervention strategies that reduce or eliminate the occurrence, persistence, or movement of foodborne pathogens among food animals, their environment, and potential surrounding production environments.
Title: Strategies to Optimize Meat Quality and Composition of Red Meat Animals
Develop strategies to manage and improve variation in meat quality and composition traits.
Develop non-invasive technology to improve meat quality, composition and healthfulness traits.
|Meat Quality Publications
|Meat Safety Publications
Downloadable Information (pdfs)
USMARC Carcass Sampling Protocol
USMARC Pathogen enumeration for poultry
USMARC Pathogen enumeration in compost and manure
USMARC Pathogen enumeration for feces hides carcass ground beef
Slice Shear Force Protocols For Twenty-Two Muscles
Warner-Bratzler Shear Force Protocol
Standard Column Gradient Elution for Calpain/Calpastatin
Two-step Elution for Calpain/Calpastatin
Collagen from Hydroxyproline (HPLC Method)
Wholesale Rib Dissection