Once the ingredients have been collected and weighed, the process is remarkably simple (Figure 6-1). The meat portions (lean and fat) are usually ground separately in a silent cutter—a rotating, bowl-shaped device that chops and mixes the sausage batter—or a similar grinding device to produce varying degrees of coarse ness. The meat, along with all of the remaining ingredients, are then combined in a silent cutter. Mixing should be done to minimize or exclude oxygen, which not only can interfere with color and flavor development, but also is less conducive to growth of the starter culture. Above all, mixing, as well as all the grinding and weighing, must be performed at low temperatures for both quality and safety. The USDA requires that the temperature in the processing room be 40°C or below. In fact, in the United States, all meat processors must have a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HAACP) plan, with the temperature during processing listed as a critical control point (Box 6-5).
Box 6-4. Nitrite as an Anti-botulinum Agent (Continued)
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