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Microbial Quality of Ostrich Carcasses Produced at an Export-Approved South African Abattoir

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the microbial quality of ostrich carcasses produced in a South African exportapproved ostrich abattoir. Ninety surface samples were collected from 30 ostrich carcasses at three processing points in the abattoir: after skinning, after evisceration, and after chilling. Samples were evaluated for aerobic plate counts, for levels of Pseudomonas spp., Enterobacteriaceae, and Staphylococcus aureus, and for the presence of Escherichia coli. Surface counts (means ± standard deviations) at postskinning, postevisceration, and postchilling processing points were, respectively, 4.32 ± 0.62, 4.21 ± 0.63, and 4.57 ± 0.48 log CFU/cm2 for total aerobes; 2.82 ± 1.65, 2.86 ± 1.53, and 3.75 ± 0.94 log CFU/ cm2 for Pseudomonas spp.; 2.89 ± 0.78, 2.90 ± 0.53, and 2.38 ± 0.67 log CFU/cm2 for S. aureus ; and 2.55 ± 1.53, 2.78 ± 1.31, and 2.73 ± 1.46 log CFU/cm2 for Enterobacteriaceae. Statistically significant differences were detected between the counts for the postskinning and postchilling processing points and between the counts for the postevisceration and postchilling processing points for total aerobes, Pseudomonas spp., and S. aureus. Of practical significance was the increase in Pseudomonas spp. counts on samples collected after chilling. Seventeen of 90 samples (18.8%) tested positive for E. coli. Counts for E. coli-positive samples ranged from 1.0 to 3.79 log CFU/cm2, with a mean count of 2.15 ± 0.94 log CFU/cm2. The majority of the samples testing positive for E. coli were collected after evisceration.


Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, P/B X04, Onderstepoort 0110, South Africa 2: Meat Industry Centre, Animal Nutrition and Animal Products Institute, Private Bag X2, Irene 0062, South Africa

Publication date: May 1, 2003

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