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A National Survey of the Microbiological Quality of Beef Carcasses and Frozen Boneless Beef in Australia

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The third national baseline microbiological survey of Australian beef carcasses and frozen boneless beef was conducted in 2004. Carcasses (n = 1,155) sampled at 27 slaughter establishments had a mean aerobic plate count (at 25°C) of 1.3 log CFU/cm2. Escherichia coli was isolated from 8.0% of the carcasses, with a mean count of −0.8 log CFU/cm2 for positive samples. On samples from 24 boning (fabrication) plants (n = 1,082), the mean aerobic plate count for frozen boneless beef was 1.3 log CFU/g, and the mean count for the 1.8% of samples with detectable E. coli was 1.5 log CFU/g. E. coli O157:H7 was isolated from 1 of 1,143 carcasses and from 0 of 1,082 boneless samples. Salmonella was isolated from 0 of 1,155 carcasses and from 1 of 1,082 samples of boneless product. No Campylobacter spp. were isolated from carcasses or boneless beef. Coagulase-positive staphylococci were isolated from 28.7% of beef carcasses and 20.3% of boneless beef samples, and positive samples had a mean count of 0.3 log CFU/cm2 and 0.8 log CFU/g, respectively.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Symbio Alliance, P.O. Box 4312, Eight Mile Plains, Queensland, Australia 4064 2: Wollongbar Agricultural Institute, Department of Primary Industries, 1243 Bruxner Highway, Wollongbar, New South Wales, Australia 2477 3: Meat and Livestock Australia, Locked Bag 991, North Sydney, Australia 2059

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) 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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