Meat Heat Treatment, Safe Temperatures & Bacterial Resistance

Heat treatment is just one way of preserving meat. The rest are as follows:

  • Low temperature: Cooling, freezing
  • High temperature: Heat treatment
  • Acidity, pH: Acidification
  • Competitive flora: Fermentation — for non-heat-treated products
  • Redox potential: Decrease oxygen — vacuum, ascorbate
  • Preservatives: Sorbate, nitrite etc.
  • Water activity, aw: Drying, salt, sugar, fat

There are two types of heat treatment:

  • Heat treatment at temperatures below 100°C, mostly in the temperature range of 60 to 85°C, also called pasteurization or simply cooking.
  • Heat treatment at temperatures of above 100°C, also called sterilization.

Recommended minimum safe internal temperatures. Higher temperatures may affect flavors and nutrients.

Poultry, dark meat = 80°C
Poultry, light meat = 71°C
Ground poultry = 74-80°C
Ground beef and all types of pork = 71°C
Beef/veal/lamb steaks and chops medium-rare = 63°C

Killing time and temperature experiments for most bacteria:
heat resitance of bacteria

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

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