Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Animal Science

First Advisor

Joseph C. Cordray



Infections from antibiotic resistant bacteria are a major concern for human health professionals around the world. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is just one of the resistant organisms of concern. MRSA prevalence has also been recently reported in retail meat products at rates higher

than originally thought. Although the risk of contracting an infection from handling contaminated meat products is thought to be low, very little is known about this organism from a food safety perspective. The objective of this study was to determine the survival of MRSA during thermal processing of frankfurters, summer sausage, boneless ham, heat treated slab bacon and commercially available sliced bacon. All products, except commercially available sliced bacon, were manufactured and thermally processed using formulations and procedures developed at the Iowa State University meat laboratory. Thermal processing resulted in a significant log reduction (P<0.05) for these processed meats when compared to uncooked, positive controls for each of the processed meat products. The results of this study indicate that commercial thermal processing for ham, summer sausage and frankfurters is

sufficient to reduce the risk of MRSA as a potential food safety hazard. Although heat treated slab bacon resulted in the highest survival of viable cells of all processed meats utilized in the study, frying of commercially available bacon slices showed significant log reductions for MRSA survival.


Copyright Owner

Jonathan Alexander Campbell



File Format


File Size

89 pages