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Monitoring Beef Carcass Surface Microbial Contamination with a Luminescence-Based Bacterial Phosphatase Assay

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A commercially available microbial phosphatase test kit (Fast Contamination Indicator; FCI) was evaluated as a rapid method for estimating microbial contamination levels on beef carcass tissues. A set of actual beef carcass surface sample swabs (n = 70) was tested using the assay as a means to rapidly (10 min) monitor carcass swab sample microbial contamination. A regression equation was developed in experiment 1 and tested on an independent population. There was agreement between this assay and the conventional plating method for total aerobic mesophilic bacteria (r = 0.93). The predicted total mesophilic aerobic bacteria count generated from the fitted regression line (predicted log10 CFU/cm2 = 0.7505 × log10 FCI microbial phosphatase test values + 0.6726) showed a high correlation with actual aerobic mesophilic total counts (r = 0.88). The FCI test offers a simple and rapid method to estimate microbial contamination levels on beef carcasses.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, Nebraska 68933-0166, USA 2: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, Nebraska 68933-0166, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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