A new study has found that smoking salmon at adequately high temperatures may reduce the risk of Listeria monocytogenes in the fish. Smoked salmon is produced by salting, smoking and trimming or slicing the fish and then vacuum-packaging the final product.
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) examined the survival of Listeria monocytogenes during the processing of smoked salmon.
This pathogen has the ability to grow at low temperatures and can cause food borne illness upon consumption.
Smoked salmon is a ready-to-eat product and if it is not processed and handled properly, it can become contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
Researchers from USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Wyndmoor, PA, examined the survival of Listeria monocytogenes as affected by salt, smoke compound and temperature between the cold and hot-smoking of salmon.
They found that greater inactivation rates of Listeria monocytogenes occurred in samples processed at higher temperatures and in samples containing higher concentrations of salt and smoke compound.
In addition, salt and smoke compounds also contribute to the inactivation effect.
The study from the Journal of Food Science has been published by the Institute of Food Technologists.