To safely achieve the maximum product shelf life, the recommended storage temperature must be maintained throughout ALL stages of the supply chain including picking areas, on loading docks and under transportation. Failure to do this will reduce shelf life.
RECOMMENDED STORAGE TEMPERATURE FOR FRESH LAMB 28-32ºF (-1.0ºc ± 0.5ºc)
MODIFIED ATMOSPHERE PACKAGING (MAP)
MAP is based on the principle that, in the absence of oxygen, bacterial growth is greatly inhibited. By replacing oxygen with high food-grade carbon dioxide (CO2) chilled lamb can be maintained in prime condition.
MAP packs should be treated gently - damage to the laminated bag will allow oxygen to enter, causing bacteria to multiply.
After 14 weeks in MAP and provided “Best Practice” handling has and continues to be maintained, the product should have a 7 day shelf life past MAP packing.
Numbers of bacteria
A very slight “sour milk” odour, which will dissipate within five minutes, may be evident when first opening the MAP pouches, it is produced by an organism called Lactobacillus which favors a CO2 atmosphere. and dies rapidly, when exposed to air. This harmless organism colonizes the product surface, preventing other, less desirable organisms from growing.
The MAP process may also cause the red meat cut surfaces to appear dull in color. Upon opening allow the product to stand in an open atmosphere for 5 minutes and the color blooms back to the bright pink/red color of freshly cut lamb.