I came across this article, “Hoping to prevent gray ground beef, MU researchers see red with LED lights” by Steve Everly, January 18, 2015 and it looks at a study using LED lights.
Light and oxygen help turn the color of ground beef into a light gray or brown color. However, those beef samples that were under the LED lighting fared much better. LED lighting is much cooler and as a result the temperature is not nearly as warm as traditional lighting. “As the article indicates, the discolored hamburger can still be safe, but the appearance makes it tough to sell”
With respect to shelf life, here was the biggest finding of the article,
That LEDs could change the math was clear in the University of Missouri tests. They added a day to bright red hamburger, and even after a week the patties still had some speckles of red. The fluorescent-lit patties started showing discoloring in the third day.
LED lighting is starting to be installed in several retail grocers in the Greater Kansas City ARea.
Jon McCormick, executive director of the Retail Grocers Association of Greater Kansas City, said area grocers have begun installing meat and other display cases lit with LEDs “across the Kansas City metro.” The cooler light is also helping in other ways such as helping prevent frost on the glass doors of frozen-food display cases.
In summary, the meat industry has tried to find ways to make meat last longer. Adding another day with LED technology would be a huge step toward in that direction.