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In-Plant Validation Study of Harvest Process Controls in Two Beef Processing Plants in Honduras

Casas, Diego, Brashears, Mindy M., Miller, Mark F., Inestroza, Brenda, Bueso-Ponce, Maria, Huerta-Leidenz, Nelson, Calle, Alexandra, Paz, Ricardo, Bueno, Miriam, Echeverry, Alejandro
Journal of food protection 2019 v.82 no.4 pp. 677-683
HACCP, Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, beef, exports, lymph nodes, meat processing plants, pathogens, Honduras, United States
Imported meat in the United States can become a food safety hazard if proper food safety programs are not fully implemented in foreign meat processing plants. Thus, exporting countries' food safety inspection systems must be equivalent to the U.S. federal inspection system to become eligible to export meat to the United States. The objective of this study was to validate the beef harvest Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points and food safety programs of two beef processing plants in Honduras operating under U.S. equivalency standards by evaluating the presence of Salmonella (plant A) and Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC; plant B) on hides. Additionally, evaluating pathogen transfer from hides to carcasses, as detected by preevisceration sampling, and the mitigation of transferred pathogens, by application of carcass spray interventions and determination of Salmonella presence in lymph nodes, was also conducted. In plant A, the presence of Salmonella on hides (n = 30 of 687; 4.4%) was significantly greater (P < 0.10) than on carcasses swabbed at preevisceration (n = 7 of 687; 1.0%), after intervention (n = 13 of 678; 1.9%), and in lymph nodes (n = 14 of 691; 2.0%). In plant B, Salmonella was not detected on hide samples; therefore, data could not be used for validation of the harvest Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points program. Alternatively, STEC presence on hides (n = 21 of 85; 24.7%) was greater (P < 0.10) than on carcasses at preevisceration (n = 3 of 85; 3.5%) and after intervention (n = 1 of 85; 1.2%). Pathogen presence in plant B did not differ (P = 0.306) between carcasses in preevisceration and postintervention stages; both, however, were substantially low. Both plants' controls effectively reduced Salmonella and STEC presence in postintervention carcasses.