Cold-smoking & Food Safety

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Steve Schroeder
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Cold-smoking & Food Safety

Post by Steve Schroeder » Wed Jan 25, 2017 15:46

I've wondered myself about the food safety aspects of holding uncooked comminuted product (like sausage) in a smoker between 40F and 140F (for example) for long periods of time. I know there is a time/temperature relationship but don't know the details. Marianski published a chart showing allowable safe periods of time at different temperatures. I understand that the nitrate/nitrite in the curing salts is there to inhibit C. Botulinum production of botulinum toxin, but what about other pathogens, such as salmonella, campylobacter, listeria, E. Coli, C. perfringens, Norwalk virus, and other food-borne bugs? Won't they proliferate in the warm moist environment in the sausage being held in the cold-smoker? In fermented sausages we add nitrate/nitrite, aggressively lower the pH, and reduce the water activity (Aw) to protect the product, but none of this is present in cold-smoking freshly stuffed sausage. Food safety/food biology experts comment?
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Bob K
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Post by Bob K » Wed Jan 25, 2017 16:56

Experts will say it's not safe. Any sausage that is smoked should be cured. After cold smoking they should be cooked. Here is some info:

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/09/h ... IjI3fkrKM8

http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/nchfp ... tproc.html

Did you see a recipe that called for cold smoking fresh sausage?
Steve Schroeder
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Post by Steve Schroeder » Wed Jan 25, 2017 17:28

Bob - This is a question raised on one of the FB groups. Technically, fresh sausage might be "cured" in that it has had sodium chloride and nitrate/nitrite added, and I understand that the salts act to reduce Aw somewhat, and inhibit production of C. Botulium toxin, but does this "cure" protect from other pathogens? If not, how is it safe (or is it?) to cure the meat with salts, grind, stuff, and hang in a cold smoker at 80F for hours or days? I made the two types of Polish sausage Redzed referred to - cold and hot smoked - and wondered how the cold smoked type has any protection. Thanks ...
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Bob K
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Post by Bob K » Wed Jan 25, 2017 17:45

Steve Schroeder wrote:and wondered how the cold smoked type has any protection. Thanks ...
It is dried to achieve a safe Aw. Which satisfies the safety hurdle. Cold smoking dries the sausage quite rapidly
http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage ... old-smoked
Steve Schroeder
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Post by Steve Schroeder » Wed Jan 25, 2017 18:27

Thanks, Bob K
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