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The safety evaluation of chilled pork from online platform in China

Liu, Chen-xing, Xiao, Ying-ping, Hu, Dong-wen, Liu, Jian-xin, Chen, Wei, Ren, Da-xi
Food control 2019 v.96 pp. 244-250
Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, absorbents, coliform bacteria, food contamination, meat quality, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, microbial contamination, models, plate count, pork, temperature, total volatile basic nitrogen, vacuum packaging, virulent strains, China
This study aimed to investigate the meat quality and safety of chilled pork collected from 45 online stores in China. Total volatile basic nitrogen (TVBN), total viable counts (TVC), and coliform counts of 135 meat samples were analyzed, and the shipment conditions including endpoint temperature, transport time, transport distance and package model were also recorded. Foodborne pathogenic bacteria including Salmonella spp, Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Listeria Monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) were also detected and counted. The positive rate of Salmonella spp (13.32%), S. aureus (14.81%), MRSA (3.70%) and L. monocytogenes (4.44%) was found for 135 online meat samples. Endpoint temperature is the most important indicator of meat safety; when >10 °C, the unqualified rates for coliform counts, TVC and TVBN were 60%, 40% and 30%, respectively, which were significantly higher than those at < 4 °C. The vacuum packing model is found to be better than modified atmosphere (P < 0.05); modified atmosphere with an absorbent pad also has benefits for TVC and TVBN control. For the correlations between shipment condition and meat safety, the endpoint temperature has a positive correlation with meat safety, with a significance level of P < 0.001. However, no significant correlation was found between transport distance and meat quality. Results of this study showed that meat sold online poses potential hazards, and endpoint temperature control is the most important factor to ensure meat safety sold online in China.