A Longitudinal Study of Bacterial Contamination in Retail Meats and Meat Products

Date
1998
Authors
Beran, George
Proescholdt, Terry
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Abstract

Beginning in September 1975, and with records continuing through May, 1997, a laboratory class in food safety has been conducted at Iowa State University in 2-week rotations of 6–9 students each. As a component of the class, inspections has been made of local food establishments and a total of 825 meats and meat products have been purchased for microbiological laboratory cultures, with 77.6% positive for total aerobic plate counts, 55.3% positive for fecal coliforms, and 54.9% positive for Staphylococcus aureus. Titers ranged between 102.3 and 107.2 colony forming units (CFU) per gram. Analysis by 5-year periods has identified no progress over the 23 year period in lower prevalence or lower titers of contamination by these bacteria.

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