Recognising the dramatic poultry consumption changes over the last few decades, CMS Technology (CMS) has launched an alliance with The University of Georgia (UGA) with a dedicated focus on secondary processing.
"Consumers obviously find the advertisements showing cows parachuting out of the skies wearing signs that say 'eat more chicken,' humorous," said John Meccia, chief executive officer of CMS Technology. "But, in truth, Americans do eat significantly more chicken, and ensuring the process that brings us that food source is as safe as possible is an extremely important issue."
Shifting consumer trends include a significant rise in per capita poultry consumption, from 58 pounds annually in 1980 to approximately 100 pounds today – with more than 80% coming from the consumption of broilers. While 50% of broilers were purchased as whole birds in 1980, nearly 90% of broiler meat is now in the form of cut-up parts or further processed chicken (e.g., ground or mechanically-separated). These trends have meaningful implications for food safety and mitigating pathogen risks.
As a leader in poultry science, UGA is partnering with CMS Technology to focus on research and innovations around secondary processing in order to further enhance food safety in the poultry industry.
"Given the considerable demand for cut and ground poultry as opposed to whole birds in today's market, secondary processing has become a central component of the supply chain in the poultry industry," said Dr. Scott Russell, Professor of Poultry Processing and Products Microbiology at UGA. "This alliance will help foster new and improved intervention strategies to reduce pathogenic and spoilage bacteria in the poultry industry."
"CMS provides proprietary formulations using GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe by the FDA) ingredients at multiple intervention points for the poultry industry today," Meccia added. "We are excited to be a core part of a collaboration that can proactively address potential cross-contamination during secondary processing. Whether it's related to cut portions, ground poultry, or even the packaging of meat – we look forward to bringing new innovations and becoming a leader in the industry's focus on improving food safety for the American consumer."
UGA and CMS will undertake tests and experiments, many with industry participants, to help enhance food safety central to the consumption of poultry. Additional partnerships are anticipated in related areas such as processing equipment and packaging.
The findings will be available to industry participants and the public.