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Work Package 5

Validate the Safety Monitoring and Assurance System (SMAS) in real chill chain studies

Leader : P7
Partners Responsible: P1  P2  P3  P4  P5  P6  P7 


The Objectives of this Workpackage are:
  • To evaluate the applicability and effectiveness of SMAS in real conditions of meat distribution by conducting field tests within the chill chain.

  • To assess industry acceptance of the TTI and the concept of individual meat product management in the chill chain and assurance extending from production to the consumer’s table
Methodology And Study Materials

Sub-workpackage 5.1 : Apply TTI on real meat products, follow chill chain and make decisions based on SMAS

Validation of the applicability and reliability of the developed Safety Monitoring and Assurance System (SMAS) as a practical chill chain management tool will be conducted by field tests. Batches of packed meat products with and without TTI will be followed throughout the real chill chain. At selected control points -e.g. after transportation, before stocking retail chill cabinets- meat products will be checked for TTI response and data will be input to the SMAS software. Based on the SMAS decisions, products will be promoted differently to the next decision point and finally to the “consumer”. Products without TTI will be handled between decision points randomly. At the final point, products will be retrieved before consumption and risk assessed based on temperature history. Also spoilage flora will be measured and product quality evaluated. Products managed with the SMAS tool will be compared to “control” products without TTI. with regards distribution of risk and quality. To check the reliability of the TTI and have the actual temperature history miniature electronic, computer downloadable temperature loggers will also monitor temperature of selected products.

Sub-workpackage 5.2 : Validate SMAS by conducting microbiological analysis at key points of meat chill chain

Based on the results of Sub-workpackage 5.1 with regards the temperature history of the products and the data obtained in Sub-workpackage 2.1 on the conditions of the chill chain, simulated field tests will be conducted by reproducing the chill chain conditions in a number of programmable chill cabinets in the laboratory. Products with TTI or without, will be transferred to different temperatures at times corresponding to control points in the chill chain and based on SMAS decisions or randomly. This simulation technique will allow more and repeated testing of samples of known temperature history. Also samples can be easily obtained at all “points” of the chain and analyzed microbiologically. Again the aim is to verify whether an improvement with regards distribution of risk and quality is actually obtained at key points of the meat chill chain.

Sub-workpackage 5.3 : Communicate and receive feedback from potential end users of SMAS (meat industry, retailers)in different European markets

The main end user of the SMAS is considered to be food retailer company and food industry. Companies representing retailer and meat industry will be involved in WP5. The objective is to:

  • Establish a meeting point between the retailer companies, meat industry and the project partners
  • To discuss applicability of TTI with the end users of the technology in WP4
  • To attain important technological input data such as scenarios for temperature (chill chain) during product handling
  • To support the project with products to be used for validating SMAS

Meetings will be held with companies/industry in each separate country. The result of national discussions will be communicated to participants in WP5. In the five participant countries a number of meat industries, meat retailers, and meat associations have been contacted and the eager response for participation and the interest and support for the proposed project, assures the successful conduct of this Task. Comparative assessment of the meat sector attitude, in different European countries, on the developed chill chain management tool will be achieved.

EC FIFTH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME - Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources - Project QLK1-2002-02545