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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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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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