Predicting the Food Safety and Shelf-Life Implications of Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) Temperature Abuse (TA) on Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Fillets
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
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Maintaining food safety and preventing spoilage are paramount during food distribution. However, in the last segment of the cold chain (Last Mile), less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping practices can lead to cyclic temperature abuse (TA). Therefore, two experiments were conducted to develop predictive models of the effects of LTL TA on the safety and shelf-life of a model temperature sensitive food (boneless skinless chicken breast). For both experiments, simulated LTL TA conditions (cyclic 2 h at 4°C, then 2 h 25°C) were used. In experiment 1, inoculated (Salmonella Typhimurium) fillets were subjected to TA in a programmable incubator. Using temperature and microbial results, an acceptable tertiary model for the prediction of Salmonella growth was created. Experiment 2 was conducted using a commercial pallet of chicken breast fillets and a walk-in cooler. Using Monte Carlo methods, predictions were obtained for risk-of-loss and shelf-life. The research presented in the thesis is an amalgamation of two distinct fields of food microbiology and supply chain to create a broader impact on food safety and security.