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Airborne Bacteria and Carcass Contamination in Slaughterhouses

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Microbiological contamination of air and carcasses was studied in four slaughterhouses by using impactor samples taken at the back-splitting and weighing areas and by sampling carcasses with the swabbing method. Air flow was determined by an air-flow detector, and the movement of workers was observed. The air contamination level in the back-splitting areas (2.25 log CFU/100 liters of air) was generally higher than that in the weighing areas (2.03 log CFU/100 liters of air). Associations between the microbiological contamination of air and carcasses with the movements of workers were found. Layout of the slaughtering line was shown to be important in decreasing airborne contamination. Separation of the clean and unclean parts of the line as well as separation of the weighing area from the other clean parts of the line decreased the contamination level. It appears that airborne bacteria have an important role in carcass contamination.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food and Environmental Hygiene, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 57, FIN-00014 Helsinki University, Finland

Publication date: January 1, 1997

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