Title: Impact of sampling area and location on measurement of indicator organisms during beef carcass interventions
Authors: Wang R, King DA, Koohmaraie M, Bosilevac JM
Journal: J Food Prot
Accepted date: 2013 Jul 13
Interpretive summary: Escherichia coli O157:H7 is an important foodborne pathogen being regulated as an adulterant in beef products. Commercial meat processors have employed antimicrobial interventions to prevent beef carcass contamination by E. coli O157:H7. To ensure that the intervention procedure is functioning properly and efficiently, processors often monitor the levels of indicator microorganisms. In the present study, the effect of sponge sampling site and area on the recovery of multiple indicator microorganisms from beef carcass surfaces was evaluated in order to simplify and validate our previous sampling protocol for ease of implementation by the meat industry. Results indicated that pre-intervention samples collected from the top or bottom sites of the carcasses were similar in recovery of the indicator organisms. The top-bottom combined sponge samples would provide similar data as well. Post-intervention samples obtained from the bottom site of the carcasses showed the most reductions of viable microorganisms. These results suggested that instead of sampling both top and bottom sites of the carcasses, which is frequently unfeasible in the commercial setting, samples collected with this method from either top or bottom site could be suitable for use to monitor background levels of the indicator microorganisms.
Related projects: Pathogen Mitigation in Livestock and Red Meat Production