The Effects of Ultraviolet Light on Fresh Meat

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One of the most common choices for supermarket meat display lighting is ultraviolet light. UV lights are not to be mistaken with fluorescent lights which are different because of the presence of phosphor. Another key feature that separates UV lights from fluorescent lights is the unique glass construction in UV lights that are placed there to maximize the emission of ultraviolet energy.

Why ultraviolet lights are used in meat display cases

UV lights that are installed in meat display cases serve a very specific purpose. To understand this purpose, you need to know the importance of increasing the shelf life of meat in a supermarket or a deli. The last thing that the owner of a retail food outlet that sells meat would want is to see his or her produce going bad prematurely. This would result in heavy financial losses over time. Meat is one such type of food that can get spoiled and even start rotting in a very short amount of time if it is not preserved properly and if it is exposed to certain unfavorable conditions. To avoid spoilage of meat, grocery store owners install UV lights in the meat display cases.

Ultraviolet lights have a particular range of wavelength which is extremely effective in killing off or causing severe damage to microorganisms. The growth of microorganisms such as bacteria is what leads to meat getting spoiled and going bad. Therefore, the UV lights are installed in the grocery meat display cases or used in deli display case lighting in a bid to inhibit the growth of bacteria. The more intense the UV light is, the better will be its performance in impeding the growth and survival of bacteria on the meat.

If deli or grocery store meat can be kept free from bacteria, then the probability of the meat staying fresh for an extended period of time will be drastically increased.

Discoloration and ultraviolet lighting

Ultraviolet lights are not the ultimate solution when it comes to meat display case lighting. UV lights can have a negative impact on the quality of the food. For example, the use of UV lights can have detrimental effects on the color of the meat. When meat loses its attractive, bright red color, shoppers are dissuaded from buying that product. The loss of color is synonymous with loss of freshness. In other words, the use of UV lights can reduce the retail display life of meat.

Alternatives to ultraviolet lighting

When it comes to fresh meat display case lighting there are plenty of options available for supermarket managers. Among them, the use of food safe lighting in the form of specialized merchandising lamps is the one choice that makes the most sense. For example, if you decide to use Promolux full spectrum lamps for meat display lighting, then you can be assured that the shelf life of your meat will not suffer.