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PostPosted: November 17th, 2009, 12:01 pm 
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I would like to compile a list of resources or links to dehydrating food safely. Its getting to the season where some of us prepare for camp meals for next year.

I googled those words and our own site came up as a hit. The article though is far from complete.

http://housewares.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi ... le_id%3D16

I am particularly interested in scientific reviews on dehydrating meat.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FactSheets/Jer ... /index.asp

http://www.drystore.com/page/page/1346972.htm

I see the mention of steam or roasting meat to a core temp of 160 as a prerequisite to drying meat. Just cooking on the stove top is not mentioned.

http://www.extension.uidaho.edu/twinfal ... fJerky.htm


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PostPosted: November 17th, 2009, 12:11 pm 
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I'm assuming this thread is rough prelim of the final result you plan on posting.

There are some pretty hardcore dehydrators on ADKF so I did an advanced Google search, restricted to ADKF.com, and came up with multiple hits.

Here is one of them:

http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=10399


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PostPosted: November 17th, 2009, 12:24 pm 
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Thanks..I am trying to avoid the anectodal experience "If I haven't gotten sick, you shouldn't either" and while there is some of that there is are a lot of other good links on the sites mention.


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PostPosted: November 17th, 2009, 1:03 pm 
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littleredcanoe wrote:
Thanks..I am trying to avoid the anectodal experience "If I haven't gotten sick, you shouldn't either" and while there is some of that there is are a lot of other good links on the sites mention.

Pretty hard to avoid anecdotal and opiniated stuff within the context of a forum discussion but the guy who posted the links is always quite thourough and scholarly in his approach so I would think the links are relatively decent ones.


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PostPosted: November 18th, 2009, 10:21 am 
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littleredcanoe wrote:
I see the mention of steam or roasting meat to a core temp of 160 as a prerequisite to drying meat.


That seems excessive to me. From my many years in the food industry, 145ºF/63ºC was the temperature we were told kills the types of pathogenic bacteria typically found in meats. Time is a big factor, however, and foods must be held at these lower temps for a lot longer than they would need to be at higher temps. Seems that most dehydrators will reach 145ºF/63ºC and the dehydration process will be long enough to kill the bacteria.

In must be considered that not all bacteria will be killed at 145ºF/63ºC, 160ºF/71ºC or even by boiling (212ºF/100ºC). Thermophilic bacteria (found in hot springs and at geothermal vents) commonly grow at temperatures near or even above boiling point and sporulating bacteria such as anthrax and botulinum can survive temps up to 240ºF/116ºC, and must be pressure canned (in effect, autoclaved) in order to destroy the spores. This has me more concerned than the possibility of getting sick from jerky. Low-acid foods that have not been thoroughly dried and are then vacuum packaged seem to me to at least have the potential for the development of botulinum toxin, with almost certain lethal results.

I'll put my Google and PubMed fingers to work and let you know if I find anything important that may help you in your article.

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PostPosted: November 18th, 2009, 8:28 pm 
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freezing will also kill most bacteria.I keep all my dehydrate stuff in the freezer until I'm ready to use it


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PostPosted: November 18th, 2009, 9:54 pm 
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woodenkayak guy wrote:
freezing will also kill most bacteria.I keep all my dehydrate stuff in the freezer until I'm ready to use it


Freezing will slow most bacterial growth to a standstill, but there are few pathogens that will be destroyed by freezing. Once stuff starts to thaw, the bacteria will begin to "divide and conquer" just like they did before the food was frozen. In no time at all, they will overtake the food and it will be spoiled. That's why all the health depts always give warnings around holiday time telling folks to avoid thawing frozen turkeys at room temperature.

E. coli, for example, has a doubling time of about 20 minutes at 37ºC. A single bacterium will be 8 in one hour, 64 in two hours, 512 in three hours, etc. At that rate, there will be about a billion (2^30) in ten hours and a billion billion (2^60) in ten more hours. Such is the nature of exponential growth.

Of course, in real life, growth is resource limited and the growth curve levels off and drops just as rapidly as it rose as resources are used up and toxins accumulate, but that is what spoiled food is by definition. In many cases (i.e. botulinum), it's the toxins themselves that cause illness and death.

BTW, we as humans exhibit the same type of exponential growth as bacteria do. Thankfully for the planet, our doubling time is on the order of several decades instead of 20 minutes. :wink:

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