The firm uses ingredients given GRAS (generally regarded as safe) status by the US Food and Drug Administration in a product designed to prevent microorganisms, especially in secondary processing where there are cross contamination concerns.
PoultrypHresh is a liquid additive designed for poultry processors to prevent Salmonella and E. coli for various points in the supply chain.
When using PoultrypHresh, Salmonella on chicken parts was reduced from a typical reading of 5% to 0.5%, according to a study by CMS Technologies and the University of Georgia (UGA).
E. coli presence was reduced to 0.2% from some findings as high as 40%.
Secondary processing focus
John Meccia, CMS’s CEO, said the firm had received Letters of No Objection (LNOs) from the USDA and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
“We are finding more opportunities to apply our technology in secondary processing, where whole chickens are cut into parts,” he told FoodQualityNews.
“In late 2013, early 2014 the changes came along and we were formulating the technology. Now it is more established and there are more opportunities.
“Key to the traction is getting the first customers on board and comfortable and as people address the issue more the traction will become more as it solves industry issues."
CMS has an alliance with researchers at the University of Georgia to develop safety and sanitation technology for secondary poultry processing.
The company is working with UGA’s team of scientists, including Dr Scott Russell, on additional technologies and methods to combat cross-contamination during secondary poultry processing.
It has also worked with Dr Nelson Cox at the Russell Research Center – where some USDA-ARS scientists are based.
Product effect data
Meccia said there is no residual material left behind after use.
“You are never going to make it zero but a reduction to protect the food supply chain is possible. Our technology can be applied at various application points and measured to optimize dosing rates,” he said.
“Our technology has various applications, it depends on the different levels and pH so look at acidity and dose systems with the right level.
“We made sure not to have an effect on taste which is why we went through all the data we did, as you don’t want to damage the product or treat too strongly.”
The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) will change the way chicken parts are processed from Spring 2015.
Stricter standards will mean changes for poultry processors and safer food for consumers.
USDA-FSIS extended the comment period for proposed standards to reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter in ground chicken, turkey products and raw chicken parts last month.
Trade associations requested that FSIS extend the comment period by 90 days but the agency said it would only do so for 60 days (now ending May 26) and it said there would be no delay in actions in the notice published in January.
Meccia said the firm is now looking to see if it can make a difference in turkey, which will be followed by other protein applications and seafood.