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Analysis of Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter coli, Salmonella, Klebsiella pneumaniae, and Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Fresh Hand-Picked Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) Meat

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This study was conducted to determine the levels of Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter coli, Salmonella, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Escherichia coli O157:H7 in fresh hand-picked blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) meat. An attempt was made to correlate these selected pathogens and general microbial quality to processors' sanitation practices and facility size. Hand-picked crabmeat samples from 12 blue-crab-processing facilities in the Chesapeake Bay region were collected and analyzed. Twenty samples from each of the different facilities were collected on different processing days. Facilities were chosen on the basis of production levels and Virginia Department of Health inspection scores as an indicator of sanitation practices (excellent, ≥94.5, acceptable, <94.5). All samples were tested between 16 h and 36 h after collection. Campylobacter jejuni was isolated from 36 (15%) of the 240 samples and Campylobacter coli was isolated from 14 (5.8%). Quantitative levels in all case were below limits of detection (<0.30 MPN/g). Klebsiella pneumoniae was isolated from a total of 51 (21%) samples. Counts ranged from less than 0.30 to 4.3 MPN/g. Aerobic plate counts ranged from 7.4 × 103 to 4.6 × 108 CFU/g with coliform counts ranging from <0.3 to 32.8 MPN/g. Fecal coliform levels were <0.3 to 2.26 MPN/g and Escherichia coli from <0.3 to 0.77 MPN/g. Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli O157:H7 were not detected in any of the 240 samples analyzed. No significant differences (P < 0.05) between size and inspection scores were observed for general microbial quality or the presence of Klebsiella pneumoniae or Campylobacter species.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Department of Food Science and Technology, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0418, USA 2: Virginia Department of Health, Division of Shellfish Sanitation, 1500 E. Main St., Richmond, Virginia 23219, USA 3: Norfolk Health Department, 401 Colley Ave., Norfolk, Virginia 23507, USA

Publication date: August 1, 1996

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