Nutrition: Microflora of meat and meat products – 2022


Microflora of meat and meat products

The meat of a sick animal, or the meat of an animal that looks healthy but carries bacteria, can pose a danger to humans. Nutrition

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Microflora of meat and meat products

In practice, the meat of a healthy, rested animal is sterile at slaughter, but during processing it can be contaminated by the intestines, equipment and outer cover of the animal. The meat of a sick animal, or the meat of an animal that looks healthy but carries bacteria, can pose a danger to humans. Therefore, after all, raw meat should be considered infected in any case! The bacterial flora of meats includes micrococci, lactic acid bacteria, pseudomonas sprouts, E. coli sprouts, proteins (see above for other infectious bacteria). Meat is an ideal food for bacteria when given a source of nitrogen, fermentable carbohydrates, adequate moisture, minerals and the right pH. To prevent spoilage, it is important to cool quickly to ensure a relatively large surface area (hence ground beef spoils faster) oil film.

Bacteria grow better in the intestines of animals (liver, spleen, lungs), so they are often more contaminated than meat. The surface of spoiled meat may become sticky (pseudomonas species), its natural color changes, the surface becomes greenish gray (flavobacteria, some lactobacilli). Oils may harden (pseudomonas species, proteus, acromobacter) and unpleasant tastes and odors may occur. The characteristic taste and odor of durable meat products (salami, sausage) is created by noble molds (winter salami) together with lactic acid bacteria. Their deterioration is caused by yeasts (germination), clostridia (rot), penicillin species (mildew). Durable products should not be stored in the refrigerator!

Bacteria are not killed in frozen / -20 °C / meat and rapid cooling destroys the tissue structure. If the cooling chain is broken, bacteria begin to multiply. Meat that has already been thawed must therefore be processed and consumed in a short time, not even stored at 0 °C!! Meat products removed from the freezer should be stored in the refrigerator, not at room temperature.
Some bacteria (stp. Aureus, str. Faecalis) also tolerate salt concentration well, changing the color of the salty product. Most gut bacteria also tolerate 20-30% salt content and survive 3-9 days at 20°C.
Acidification of meats: autolytic enzymes break down proteins into amino acids, but the penetrating microbes break down amino acids with their enzymes anaerobically, from carbohydrates to acidifying gas, e.g. Under the influence of Clostridium. The result of all this is acidification.
Meat decay: The breakdown of proteins produces odorous products (indole, scotol, mercaptans), eg. clostridia, pseudomonas, protein.


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