Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Food Science and Technology

Major Professor

Melvin R. Johnston

Committee Members

I.E. McCarty, J.D. Smalling


The purpose of this study was to determine the number of bacteria that could be present in a fresh pork sausage and still give a long shelf-life product, and to develop sanitation practices that would enable a meat processor to maintain this level of shelf-life.

The methods of analysis were: plate counts for lactic acid, Coliform, and total bacteria, taste panel tests for rancidity and chemical analysis for free fatty acids.

The following findings were made; (1) There was a significant difference between the number of bacteria in the finished product and the raw pork. There was also a significant difference in the number of bacteria in the pork, raw and finished, and the other contact points, (2) Improved sanitation practices increased shelf-life of pork sausage by 100 percent. (3) A bacterial load of between 10-20 thousand per gram permitted a shelf-life of between 13-14 days. (4) There was a very high correlation between total bacterial counts and counts from selective media. The correlations were higher for the raw pork than for the finished sausage, (5) The amount of lactic acid, Coliform, and total bacteria contamination was in an inverse ratio to the sanitary conditions of the contact and non-contact surfaces. (6) A quaternary ammonium compound was found to reduce the number of bacteria.

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