Department of Animal Sciences
   College of Agricultural Sciences
      Colorado State University
    Fort Collins, CO 80523-1171
1.     Current Faculty Members

        Currently, there are six faculty members in the Meat Science Program and Center for Red
Meat Safety. Following is a list of the faculty members and a brief statement of each person’s
area of expertise.

Keith E. Belk, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Animal Sciences. Livestock, carcass and meat microbiology; ISO
9000; HACCP; TQM; international food safety; governmental regulations for red meat safety;
meat quality and palatability; animal identification and traceability.

Temple Grandin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Animal Sciences.       Livestock equipment design; animal
behavior, handling and welfare.

John A. Scanga, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor and Extension Meat Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, Biowaste
management; livestock, carcass and meat microbiology; meat quality and palatability;
preharvest, harvest and postharvest microbiological/decontamination interventions; animal
identification and traceability.

Gary C. Smith, Ph.D.
University Distinguished Professor and Holder of the Ken and Myra Monfort Endowed Chair in
Meat Science, Department of Animal Sciences. Livestock, carcass and meat microbiology; meat
safety; meat packaging; carcass classification and grading; meat palatability; chemical residues
in red meat; animal identification and traceability.

John N. Sofos, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, Meat microbiology, preservation and safety;
HACCP; food safety and biotechnology.

J. Daryl Tatum, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Animal Sciences. Meat grading and marketing; animal management
and meat composition and quality; meat animal growth and carcass development; animal
identification and traceability.

       Other personnel include presently three research associates, one post-doctoral fellow, 16
masters and five Ph.D. students.

Directors: Program in Meat Science, J. Daryl Tatum
           Center for Red Meat Safety, John N. Sofos

2.     Brief Description of Goals and Objectives

        Animal agriculture is a major economic sector in the United States. The red meat industry
contributes substantially to the U.S. economy. Each year 30 million to 35 million (26.5 million fed
steers and heifers) cattle, 80 million to 92 million hogs, and 5 million to 7 million lambs are
marketed in the U.S. To remain competitive, the industry must provide consumers with products
that meet their demands for safety, wholesomeness, quality, convenience, and price.

        The Meat Science Program and Center for Red Meat Safety is a multidisciplinary program
at Colorado State University designed to address national issues of the red meat industry. These
issues originate from meat quality and safety problems or research needs arising among those in the
consuming-public, government agencies, commodity groups, and industry. The program at
Colorado State University is uniquely positioned, staffed, and equipped to respond, rapidly and
competently, to red meat quality and safety issues. Program staff has experience in multiple areas
of red meat quality and safety and are in a position, with flexibility, to conduct research, and to
respond swiftly and without bias to such issues.

         The increasing complexity of food production, processing and distribution systems, as well
as the continuous development of various new products to answer consumer concerns and meet
demands for convenience, offer challenges for producers, processors, distributors, retailers,
researchers and regulatory authorities to ensure exemplary product quality and safety at a reasonable
cost. In general, food safety is a dynamic, ever-changing issue, which requires generation of new
information and continuous re-evaluation of existing knowledge in order to counter newly
developed, perceived or recognized threats, and to develop effective and economic means for their

        If food safety—in general—appears to be the major current concern for consumers and
health professionals, there is no doubt that red meat safety is the major component of this concern.
Important food safety concerns include illness from pathogenic and toxigenic microorganisms,
chemical contaminants, zoonotic animal diseases, naturally occurring toxicants, and food additives.
Results of the Food Marketing Institute Trends surveys from 1982 through 2003 indicated that the
shopping public considered the following factors as important in food selection—taste, nutrition,
price and product safety. Food safety concerns of red meat consumers from those same surveys
included "spoilage," "pesticides/residues/insecticides/herbicides" and "spoilage/germs." Thus,
microbiological and chemical safety of red meat products appears to be nearly as important to
consumers as price, nutritional value and taste.

         Specific red meat safety issues which have received scientific and regulatory attention, as
well as publicity, in recent years include: red meat and poultry inspection activities, procedures and
priorities by the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture
such as performance-based inspection, decontamination of carcasses with chemical rinses,
nationwide microbiological baseline surveys for pathogens, and hazard analysis critical control
point programs; humane treatment of animals; work-place safety; bovine spongiform
encephalopathy; pesticide, hormone, antibiotic and drug residues in carcasses; bans of exports of red
meat products to countries such as those of the European Union and Japan due to inspectional
differences or safety issues; nutritional labeling; food irradiation; product cross-contamination;

levels of fat, cholesterol and other fat components of red meat products; and control of
microbiological pathogens such as Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella
and Campylobacter. In addition, interest is increasing for adoption of ISO 9000 (International
Organization for Standardization) Quality Standards by various segments of the food industry as
they seek equal and fair competition in overseas markets. The expertise available to the Meat
Science Program and Center for Red Meat Safety at Colorado State University has the capability to
address all of these issues.

       Major research goals and priorities for red meat products have been developed by various
organizations, associations or groups of scientists, in order to address the above concerns. The most
commonly advanced research goals are:

 •     To evaluate potential human health problems from bacterial pathogens;

 •     To develop and evaluate techniques for rapid identification of toxic microorganisms and
       chemical residues;

 •     To reduce the incidence of microbial foodborne illness by developing procedures and
       techniques to control microbial contamination;

 •     To reduce—even further—residues of pesticides, other chemicals and toxic compounds (in
       general) which may find their way into animal food products;

 •     To enhance the nutritional contribution of meat to the human diet by reducing fat levels in
       animal products;

 •     To expand export competitiveness for U.S. red meats; and

 •     To enhance product quality and delay spoilage for more effective marketing of red meat
       products in overseas markets.

        Overall, there is need for new approaches to coordinate red meat research activities by
identifying needs, designing studies, utilizing research data, and transferring technology in response
to safety issues as they surface. The goal is to enhance product quality and safety as well as to
strengthen the competitiveness of red meat products at the national and international levels.
Research goals and objectives of specific projects undertaken by personnel of the Meat Science
Program and Center for Red Meat Safety fall within the above general targets.

3.     Brief Description of Services, Training and Research Activities

Projects undertaken relative to meat quality and safety have included:

 •     Effects of genetics and nutrition on meat product quality and shelf-life;

 •     Management effects on beef, pork and lamb quality;

•   Development of beef, pork and lamb carcass evaluation and grading systems;

•   Monitoring of beef and pork tissues for residues of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and

•   Evaluation of United States and European Union meat inspection and plant sanitation
    systems and regulations;

•   Development of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems for assurance of
    meat safety by meat processors;

•   National audits to determine the status of the quality of beef, pork and lamb in the United

•   Characterization of conventional, natural and organic red-meat products in terms of
    violative chemical residues of growth promotants, antibiotics, sulfa drugs, heavy metals
    and pesticides;

•   Detection and occurrence of foodborne pathogens (E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp.,
    Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter jejuni/coli) on carcasses, variety meats,
    wholesale or retail products, processed meat products, and other foods including dried

•   Contribution of chemical additives to meat product quality, shelf-life and safety;

•   Prevalence of pathogenic bacteria in feedlot environments, animals and animal products;

•   Interventions for bacterial pathogen reduction and control pre-harvest;

•   Potential for antimicrobial resistance development in bacteria associated with farm animals;

•   Processing interventions for bacterial pathogen reduction and control in fresh meat;

•   Behavior of pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes in
    meat products;

•   Antimicrobial interventions for bacterial pathogen control in processed and ready-to-eat
    meat products;

•   Potential for development of resistant pathogenic bacteria following extended exposure to
    sublethal antimicrobial treatments;

•   Sensitivity and resistance of pathogenic bacteria to food-related environments and
    interventions; and

•   Methodology for detection of BSE Specified Risk Material in animal products.

        For example, since December 23, 2003, scientists at the CSU Meat Science Program and
Center for Red Meat Safety have interacted with management personnel of National Meat
Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, AMS-USDA, Southwest Meat Association,
American Meat Science Association, APHIS-USDA, FSIS-USDA, U.S. Meat Export Federation,
FDA-USDHHS and American Meat Institute as well as with cattlemen, cattle feeders, beef packers
and beef retailers on issues related to Mad Cow Disease or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
(BSE). These CSU scientists have been interviewed by persons from the local, state and national
media, appeared on television and on expert panels, have participated in teleconferences and have
worked diligently—behind the scenes—to help shareholders in the beef industry minimize the risk
for spread of this disease. Faculty members of the CSU Meat Science Program and Center for Red
Meat Safety have traveled to Japan, Korea, Mexico, Taiwan and China as members of U.S. trade
teams to explain the science involved in a test developed by CSU that may be used to demonstrate
safety (freedom from central nervous system tissue) of U.S. beef as well as Specified Risk Material
removal in U.S. beef packing plants. It is this kind of expertise that makes the CSU Meat Science
Program and Center for Red Meat Safety unique. Faculty members have served on the US/Japan
BSE Working Group, US Beef Export Verification Program Planning Committee, USDA Age-
Month (Beef Carcass Maturity) Expert Committee, and International BSE Expert Forum.

4.       Brief Budget Summary

        The Meat Science Program and Center for Red Meat Safety at Colorado State University
has obtained over $1 M and $1.8 M of extramural funds in 2003 and 2004, respectively, to support
research, teaching and technology-transfer activities. Most of the research and extension funding is
raised each year as contracts and grants from industry associations and federal sources.

5.       Plans for the Next Two Years

         Because the faculty/staff members of the Meat Science Program and Center for Red Meat
Safety stand ready to react—quickly and efficiently—to immediate food-safety concerns of the red
meat industry, our efforts will be directed toward remediation of problems, mitigation of risks and
protection of the public health through conduction of trials and research studies—plus outreach
activities—designed to be most effective in solving problems and effecting solutions.

Activities for the next two years will fall within the following targets:

     •   The area of scientific and regulatory HACCP;

     •   Effectiveness of preharvest microbiological interventions (vaccines, probiotics, cattle

         washing, Good Production Practices) to reduce incidence of E. coli O157:H7 and

         Salmonella spp. in cattle;

     •   Efficacy of fresh meat decontamination interventions;

•   Individual animal identification and traceability systems for prevention/control of Foreign

    Animal     Diseases,   foodborne    pathogen    incidents/outbreaks   and   agricultural/food


•   Control of pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7 in fresh meat and L. monocytogenes in ready-

    to-eat meat and poultry products;

•   Adaptation and resistance development by pathogenic bacteria following exposure to

    preservation stresses, such as acids, cold, heat, drying and starvation applied to meat and


•   Bio-waste disposal (rendering, composting, landfilling, incinerating, acid/alkaline

    hydrolyzing) as it relates to animals with TSEs;

•   International trade regulations, and compliance with ISO standards, related to red-meat

    production practices and potential chemical residues;

•   Identification of rapid assays for detecting presence of central nervous system tissue in meat

    products (a “Specified Risk Material” for BSE);

•   Mechanisms of pathogen control with single or multiple hurdles;

•   Approaches to minimize or prevent pathogen stress adaptations and resistance development;

•   Microbial communication through quorum sensing and its role in pathogen control.

6.   List of Accomplishments (2003-2004)

      Total 2003 Extramural Funding                                  $ 1,099,064
      Total 2004 Extramural Funding                                  $ 1,897,211

      Grand Total                                                    $ 2,996,275

       44 Full-length Refereed Scientific Journal Articles (2003-2004)
      229 Other publications: 97 (2003); 132 (2004)

     Graduate students completed degrees:
      6    M.S.: Kevin Smith, Bruno Cunha, Lora Kohls-Wright, Laura Ashton,
                  Yohan Yoon and Ioanna Barmpalia.

      4    Ph.D.: Derek Vote, Justin Ranson, Bill Platter and Jarret Stopforth.

     Courses Taught:
     AN 250: Live Animal and Carcass Evaluation
     AN 350B: Animal and Product Judging, Meats
     AN 360: Principles of Meat Science
     AN 460: Meat processing
     AN 560: Issues in the Meat Industry
     AN 565: Interpreting Animal Science Research
     AN 567: Meat Safety, HACCP, and TQM
     AN 660: Advanced Meat Science
     AN 792B: Seminar, Meat Sciences
     FT 572: Food Biotechnology


To top