Relative humidity is between 80 and 90 percent, which is a compromise between weight loss and microbial development; 80 percent is normally used for carcasses and quarters, and 85—90 percent for small meat cuts. Meat loses weight through surface evaporation. Tainting must be guarded against not only during mixed storage but also when using a cold chamber which has previously stored produce with a strong tainting potential. To avoid it, it is absolutely essential to reduce the temperature of the meat, especially on the surface, immediately after dressing. In addition to personal hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection programmes in slaughterhouses, chilling facilities and cutting rooms, particular care should be taken when cutting and deboning and packaging, keeping contamination of the meat to a minimum. Due to its chemical composition which is rich in proteins, lipids and water, meat is a particularly favourable substrate for the growth of microorganisms.
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