These are just a few of the many interventions and testing procedures that the industry uses to make its meat products as safe as possible.

Hock blow-off uses steam and air pressure to remove contamination from the body/leg area. This area is particularly susceptible to contamination due to initial cutting and opening of the hide in the area of the hind limb.

A worker applies a steam vacuum to the portions of the carcass where contamination is most likely to occur. This is done in multiple locations on the slaughter floor to remove any possible contamination as early as possible.

These sides of beef, each about 350lbs., are entering a closed cabinet where they will be bathed in steam for a period of at least 6 to 7 seconds. The steam raises the surface temperature of the carcass side to over 180 degrees F.. Pathogen kill is recognized to occur essentially instantly at 160 degree cooking temperatures.

This is a closed cabinet where the side of beef is rinsed with an antimicrobial solution that will increase the reduction of remaining bacteria after regular carcass washing and thermal pasteurization.

Many slaughter plants have laboratories like this adjacent to the operating facilities. These laboratories test products and environmental samples daily to verify facility sanitation, sanitary dressing procedures and the effectiveness of microbial intervention strategies.

Employees take environmental samples in operating areas to identify any undesirable bacteria and establish means to reduce or eliminate them.

These packages of ground beef are entering a quick chiller to make sure they reach the optimum distribution temperatures as quickly as possible.

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