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PHiE 2019, 100(2)

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Probl Hig Epidemiol 2018, 99(4): 327-330en

Microbiological status of pork and beef carcasses at abattoirs

Bogusław Olkowski, Grażyna Niedziałek, Antoni Jakubczak

Wydział Przyrodniczy, Uniwersytet Przyrodniczo-Humanistyczny w Siedlcach

Introduction. The slaughtering of livestock always poses a risk of serious public health problems due to contamination of meat by microorganisms, and for this reason the monitoring of the microbiological status of carcasses following slaughter is very important.
Aim. Independent evaluation of the hygienic condition of raw meat in terms of the potential microbiological hazards associated with processing pork and beef carcasses in abattoirs located in a typical agricultural region.
Materials & methods. Over a period of twenty months a total 335 pork and 200 beef carcasses from several abattoirs in north-eastern Poland were examined with regard to total numbers of aerobic bacteria (TAB) and Enterobacteriaceae (ENT). In addition, 305 pork and 167 beef carcasses were examined for the presence of Salmonella. The tests were performed in accordance with EC regulations and international standards (ISO).
Results. TAB and ENT were detected in both types of carcass; however Salmonella was not detected in any of the tested samples. All carcasses tested positive for TAB, and ENT bacteria was detected in most of the pork (>90%) and 100% of the beef carcasses. Over 50% of the pork carcasses contained <10 CFU/cm2 of TAB, and in 25.7% the result ranged between 100-1000 CFU/cm2. TAB in the range <10 CFU/cm2 were detected in 84% of the beef carcasses. Compared to beef, the pork carcasses harboured significantly (p<0.01) higher numbers for CFU/cm2 of TAB, but in terms of ENT figures there were no significant differences between beef and pork carcasses.
Conclusions. The meat samples tested met the European hygiene criteria. Due to the potential hazards, monitoring of the microbiological status of meat is necessary, especially in the case of pig slaughtering lines.

Key words:  hygiene, abattoirs, pork and beef carcasses, microbiological hazard