The past twenty years have seen dramatic changes in the processing, storage, distribution and packaging of meat and meat products, and consequently the important areas of its microbiology have also changed. These changes in product ranges have been largely prompted by the producers' desire for economies of scale in production and the con- sumers' desire for a wide variety of meat products to be readily available. The purpose of this book is to present a collection of chapters written by specialists on particular aspects of meat microbiology. I hope the structure will present the reader with chapters which, read singly, present a clear account of one aspect, but taken together present a practical and coherent survey of meat microbiology. The chapters may be roughly divided into: (i) Commodity chapters - carcass meat, poultry meat, processed meat, cured meat and by-products. (ii) Quality assurance chapters - bacteria of public health significance, microbiological examination of meat, sampling and limits. The commodity chapters set out the characteristic microbiology of product groups in some detail and provide a practical guide to micro- biological considerations in the production of particular types of pro- duct. Whilst the content of these chapters is particularly useful to the is often difficult to working microbiologist, information of this nature gather, if it is considered to be commercially valuable, so that the authors have done specially useful tasks in assembling comprehensive data concerning their topics.
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