Heat treatment is just one way of preserving meat. The rest are as follows:
- Low temperature: Cooling, freezing
- High temperature: Heat treatment
- Acidity, pH: Acidification
- Competitive flora: Fermentation — for non-heat-treated products
- Redox potential: Decrease oxygen — vacuum, ascorbate
- Preservatives: Sorbate, nitrite etc.
- Water activity, aw: Drying, salt, sugar, fat
There are two types of heat treatment:
- Heat treatment at temperatures below 100°C, mostly in the temperature range of 60 to 85°C, also called pasteurization or simply cooking.
- Heat treatment at temperatures of above 100°C, also called sterilization.
Recommended minimum safe internal temperatures. Higher temperatures may affect flavors and nutrients.
Poultry, dark meat = 80°C
Poultry, light meat = 71°C
Ground poultry = 74-80°C
Ground beef and all types of pork = 71°C
Beef/veal/lamb steaks and chops medium-rare = 63°C
Killing time and temperature experiments for most bacteria: