Date of this Version
Journal of Food Protection 86 (2023) 100010. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfp.2022.11.003
Sous vide cooking is a method of food preparation in which food is vacuum sealed and cooked in a water bath that is set to a precise temperature and circulated by a sous vide device. Due to ease of use and affordability, this cooking method has grown increasingly popular in food service kitchens and domestic settings. However, low‐temperature, long holding time sous vide cooking recommendations from manufacturers and chefs in popular press raise food safety concerns – specifically those for the preparation of nonintact beef products. The objective of this experiment was to address these concerns by validating a 5 log reduction of Salmonella spp. in sous vide cooked, nonintact beef steaks. Beef semitendinosus sliced into 2.54 cm steaks were internally inoculated to 7 log with Salmonella Typhimurium, Enteritidis, and Heidelberg via a needle inoculation pin pad. Steaks were individually vacuum sealed, and sous vide cooked at 46.1, 51.6, and 54.4°C. The minimum time measured for a 5 log reduction at 51.6 and 54.4°C was 150 and 64.5 min, respectively (P<0.01). Additionally, a 7.28 log final reduction was achieved at 51.6°C after 322.5 min (P<0.01). However, 46.1°C was only able to achieve a final reduction of 2.01 log (P < 0.01) after a holding time of 420 min. The results of this experiment validate in sous vide cooked products the time and temperature combinations provided in the USDA‐FSIS Appendix A guidance for a 5 log reduction of Salmonella spp. in meat products. Moreover, more research is needed with other relevant foodborne pathogens to determine if sous vide cooking below Appendix A recommendations could lead to unsafe products.