New Math Model Used To Protect A Holiday Favorite

Monday - 11/8/2010, 12:39pm EST

If smoked salmon is on the menu or being served at an upcoming holiday gathering, you can thank scientists with the Department of Agriculture for doing their part to ensure it is safe to eat.

They say they've developed a first-of-its-kind mathematical model that food processors can use to select the perfect combination of temperature and concentrations of salt and smoke compounds in order to reduce or eliminate the possibility of contaminated smoked salmon making its way to market.

USDA researchers say smoked salmon is typically sold in packages that have a refrigerator shelf life of about three to eight weeks. Since dangerous microbes can live at refrigerator temperatures, they say it's important to get rid of the microbes before packages leave the processing plant.