Summary

Storage life of MAP-packaged meat may be limited by microbial deterioration; loss of salable appearance; or, in limited circumstances, by development of oxidized odors, tastes, or both.

The meat industry is rapidly moving toward preparation of case-ready retail cuts at the slaughter-fabrication plants, and MAP is essential to make such a system viable.

The essential keys to success are:

1. Clean, high-quality product into the package

2. Rapid completion of packaging after fabrication

3. Cold temperature and good temperature control

4. Complete evacuation and fill with MAP gases

5. Sound package, good seal, and minimum of leakers

6. Final retail package not very different from what customers are used to

7. Package remains sealed until consumer opens it

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