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Microbiological risk characterization in butcher shops from the province of Neuquen, Patagonia Argentina

Barril, Patricia A., Soto, Silvina A., Jaureguiberry, María V., Gottardi, Gabriela, Bascur, Ianina, Leotta, Gerardo A., Oteiza, Juan M.
Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft + [i.e. und] Technologie 2019 v.107 pp. 35-40
Escherichia coli O157, Salmonella, butcher shops, cross contamination, ground beef, microbiological quality, microbiological risk assessment, microorganisms, pathogens, ready-to-eat foods, ribotyping, risk characterization, risk reduction, virulent strains, Argentina
Meat products may be vehicles of bacterial pathogens to humans. In this study, we determined both hygienic-sanitary risk and microbiological quality of raw ground beef and meat contact surfaces in butcher shops from Neuquén Province, Argentina. The hygienic-sanitary risk of the butcher shops was characterized based on the quantitative results of a checklist. A total of 44 raw ground meat and 49 meat contact surfaces were sampled. Most butcher shops presented low/moderate hygienic-sanitary risk, and one had high-risk. Counts of indicator microorganisms in ground meat samples were as follows: mesophilic aerobic microorganisms, 6.6 log CFU/g; S. aureus, 1.1 log CFU/g; E. coli, 1.5 log CFU/g. Pathogen microorganisms were found in 15.9% of ground beef samples (Salmonella spp., 6.8%; E. coli O157:H7, 2.3%; non-O157 STEC, 6.8%) and 28.6% of environmental samples (Salmonella spp., 6.1%; non-O157 STEC, 2%; L. monocytogenes, 22.4%). Concomitantly, Salmonella spp. was detected in raw ground beef and meat contact surface samples from two butcher shops. Ribotyping of these strains revealed cross-contamination. Risk quantification was useful to identify failures in different areas of the butcher shops and recognize potential improvements to reduce the risk of pathogenic bacteria contamination of meat and ready-to-eat products.