A zap of plasma reduces harmful bacteria on raw chicken
A new study by food safety researchers at Drexel University demonstrates that plasma can be an effective method for killing pathogens on uncooked poultry. The most common source of harmful bacteria in food is uncooked poultry and other meat products. The bacteria responsible for most foodborne illnesses, Campylobacter and Salmonella, are found on upwards of 70 percent of chicken meat tested. Treating raw meat products to remove pathogens before they reach a consumer's home can reduce the risk of cross contamination during food preparation. The value of using plasma "is that it is non-thermal, so there is no heat to cook or alter the way the food looks," said lead author Brian Dirks. Plasma, known as the "fourth state of matter" (after solid, liquid and gas), is a high-energy, charged mixture of gaseous atoms, ions and electrons. Plasma has a wide range of potential applications including energy production and control, biomedical treatments and environmental remediation.
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