German researchers have published a study on the effect of temperature fluctuations on the shelf life of poultry products during the early stages of cold storage.
The influence of cold chain fluctuations were studied by examining the growth of Pseudomonas spp. on fresh poultry and pork.
The researchers conducted four storage trials. In each trial, shelf life at the control scenario (a constant 4°C) was compared with shelf life at two dynamic scenarios including temperature shifts from 4 to 7 and to 15°C, respectively. Overall, fresh poultry and pork showed similar spoilage patterns at dynamic temperature conditions with remarkable reductions in the shelf life when short temperature upshifts occurred at the beginning of the storage.
Shelf life was reduced by up to 2 days (up to over 30%), although the storage time with an abusive temperature was <5% of the total storage time. As expected, scenarios with shifts to 15°C led to higher shelf life reductions than scenarios with shifts to 7°C for both meat types.