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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


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Reducing Risk Factors in Retail and Food Service: Maricopa County, Arizona Environmental Health Division - Carne Seca and Machaca

FDA/CFSAN is posting this document as a service to viewers of the November 30, 2006 satellite broadcast:
"Reducing Risk Factors in Retail and Food Service".

Maricopa County, Arizona Environmental Health Division

Carne Seca and Machaca

View video on the web:  English  |  Spanish


Carne seca and machaca are products that are very similar to beef jerky. Both are made of beef cuts with some minor differences in the recipe.

The initial process of preparing the dried jerky is to thinly slice the beef cut by hand or with a deli slicer.

The product is generously salted and spiced. The machaca may be coated with oil as well.

The product is then placed in the dehydrator for nearly ten hours. The dehydrator should be set at least to 160°F to initially cook the carne seca.

This product needs to cook at least to 145°F for 15 seconds within 4 hours. This will properly destroy pathogenic organisms that may be present on the meat and will prevent the survival of these organisms during the dehydration process.

Once dehydrated, the meat is no longer potentially hazardous and may be held at room temperature.

Strict monitoring of this process is crucial. It is important to communicate with your local regulator for assistance as this process should be evaluated and may require special approval.

Once the product has been dehydrated it is packaged and sold as carne seca.

Machaca production takes one more step. The carne seca is shredded. This usually is done using a specialized automatic shredder.

After shredding, the machaca is bagged and sold. As a note, if these products are purchased from a wholesaler, please be sure that they come from an inspected and approved source. This can be checked by looking for one of these three symbols on the packaging.

For more information on approved sources for these products, please contact your local regulatory agency.

  Download video stream for use offline: English (64 Mb)  |  Spanish (65 Mb)