Flash pasteurisation, as explained by Sainsbury microbiologist Alec Kryiakides, is a pretty easy concept to understand. At the heart of the process is a twin compartmented unit that is installed in the abattoir. "Whole sides of beef go into the first chamber, which is full of steam, and are blasted. A door closes and the beef stays there for 10 seconds. The steam destroys any bacteria. The beef then goes to the second chamber, where it is sprayed with water to cool it down and to give the desired surface cleaning effect." The trick, says Kryiakides, is making sure you do not cook the surface of the meat while you are zapping all the nasty bugs. And that's where most of the development work at ABP has been focused. Kryiakides explains why: "Animals in the US have much more fat on the sides of beef. This protects the meat and is then trimmed off. "Beef over here is a lot leaner, so we need to modify that to ensure quality is protected and people do not notice any difference. The beef will not be sterile; it will still be raw." {{NEWS }}