An Efficient Sampling Technique Used To Detect Four Foodborne Pathogens on Pork and Beef Carcasses in Nine Belgian Abattoirs

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The method presented in this paper should prove useful in assessing the effectiveness of HACCP plans developed in slaughterhouses. Samples were collected by swabbing well-defined areas of pork and beef carcasses with sterile gauze. Between 160 and 420 half-carcasses were swabbed in each of nine pork or beef slaughterhouses. Swabs from five carcasses were placed in the same sterile Stomacher bag, constituting a single composite sample. Standard or validated analytical methods were used to isolate and characterize four foodbome pathogens. Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter spp., and verocytotoxin-producing E. coli were detected, respectively, in 27, 2, 2, and 14% ofthe pork samples and 0, 22, 10, and 5% of the beef samples. Of the 10 samples positive for E. coli 0157, only one yielded an isolate confirmed to be enterohemorrhagic. Since Salmonella spp. appear as the main contaminant of pork (27%) and L. monocytogenes as the main contaminant of beef (22%), any slaughterhouse sampling plan should include testing for the former in the case of pork carcasses and for the latter in the case of beef carcasses. One should also test regularly for the presence of E. coli 0157 and Campylobacter spp. in pork and beef abattoirs. The method presented here is an easy way to assess the contamination rate of carcasses at the end of the slaughtering process.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Liège, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Food Science, Foods of Animal Origin, Hygiene and Microbiology Section, Sart-Tilman, Bat B43bis, 4000 Liège, Belgium 2: University of Liège, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Institute of Anatomy, Sart-Tilman, Bat B43, 4000 Liège, Belgium

Publication date: May 1, 1998

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