Rabbit Meat as a Source of Bacterial Foodborne Pathogens
Authors: Rodríguez-Calleja, Jose M.; García-López, Isabel; García-López, María-Luisa; Santos, Jesús A.; Otero, Andrées
Source: Journal of Food Protection®, Number 5, May 2006, pp. 984-1216 , pp. 1106-1112(7)
Abstract:Even though worldwide production of rabbit meat is >1,000,000 tons, little information is available for rabbit meat microbiology. This study provides data on the prevalence of Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Yersinia enterocolitica, Listeria spp., motile Aeromonas spp., and Staphylococcus aureus on rabbit meat. A total of 24 rabbit carcasses from two abattoirs and 27 rabbit meat packages from supermarket displays were examined. In addition to culturing methods, associated virulence genes were investigated by PCR in suspect isolates and samples. Neither Salmonella nor E. coli O157:H7 was detected. All samples were negative for virulence-associated invA, stx 1, and stx 2 genes. At one abattoir, two carcasses (3.9%) carried Y. enterocolitica yst −, and two were positive for the yst gene, although viable Y. enterocolitica cells were not recovered from these samples. Seven samples (13.7%) were contaminated with Listeria. Of them, three were positive for hly and iap genes (Listeria monocytogenes hly +/iap +), two carried Listeria seeligeri, one carried Listeria ivanovii, and one carried Listeria innocua. For detectable motile Aeromonas spp. (average count, 1.77 ± 0.62 log CFU/g), the contamination rate was 35.3%, although ca. 90% of the samples were positive for the aerA and/or hlyA genes. The majority of aeromonad isolates were Aeromonas hydrophila aerA +/hlyA +. Aeromonas caviae, Aeromonas popoffii, Aeromonas schubertii, and the two biovars of Aeromonas veronii were also isolated. The prevalence of S. aureus contamination (average count, 1.37 ± 0.79 log CFU/g) was 52.9%. Among 27 S. aureus isolates, two harbored genes for staphylococcal enterotoxin B (seb), and two harbored genes for staphylococcal enterotoxin C (sec). The remaining isolates were negative for sea, seb, sec, sed, and see.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Food Hygiene and Food Technology, Veterinary Faculty, University of León, E-24071-León, Spain
Publication date: May 1, 2006
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