A process to make ground meat more tender may also make it safer to eat,according to researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, AgriculturalResearch Service. In the Hydrodynamic Pressure Process (HDP), ARS scientistsplace meat in a container of water, then detonate a small amount of explosivesthat create a shock wave in the water. The shock wave tenderises meat bysevering the stringy striations that can make meat tough. Scientists foundthat this process may also reduce foodborne pathogens in meat. In a series ofnew studies they investigated the effect of HDP on Escherichia coli, naturallyoccurring spoilage or shelflife bacteria found in ground beef, E coli andother pathogens. HDP seems to inactivate most meat pathogens, such as E. colibut the scientists stressed thatfurther studies are necessary to determine if HDP can be put to practical usein a commercial setting.