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Implementation of Compulsory Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point System and Its Effect on Concentrations of Carcass and Environmental Surface Bacterial Indicators in United Kingdom Red Meat Slaughterhouses

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Abstract:

Statutory microbiological test results were collected from British meat plants over a 4-year period from June 2002 to May 2006. A total of 49,074 carcass test results from 19,409 cattle, 14,706 sheep, and 14,959 pig swabs and 95,179 environmental test results from surface swabs were obtained. These test results were donated by 94 slaughterhouses, which process about two thirds of the British national annual throughput of cattle, sheep, and pig carcasses. The data were collectively analyzed to determine any historical trends for numbers of total aerobes and Enterobacteriaceae. Significant reductions were observed in the numbers of indicator organisms on carcasses for all three species between 2002 and 2006. Reductions were also observed for numbers of aerobes on environmental and food contact surfaces. There were seasonal differences in bacterial numbers isolated from carcasses. Cattle and sheep carcasses had significantly higher numbers of total aerobes and Enterobacteriaceae in late summer and early autumn, whereas numbers of total aerobes on pig carcasses were higher in winter. Bacterial numbers on environmental surfaces were not influenced by the month that the swab samples were collected. Possible reasons for the observed reductions in bacterial numbers on carcasses and surfaces and the implications for carcass testing for process control purposes are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, Division of Farm Animal Science, University of Bristol, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU, UK; Hutchison Scientific Ltd., Unit G, Mid Craigie Industrial Estate, Dundee DD4 7RH, UK 2: Hutchison Scientific Ltd., Unit G, Mid Craigie Industrial Estate, Dundee DD4 7RH, UK 3: Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, Division of Farm Animal Science, University of Bristol, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU, UK 4: Meat Hygiene and Veterinary Division, UK Food Standards Agency, 315C Aviation House, 125 Kingsway, London WC2B 6NH, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, 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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