Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and partners, in collaboration with public analysis laboratories, will conduct a comprehensive survey of the microbiological pathogens STEC (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli), Campylobacter, Salmonella and hygiene indicator organisms (generic E. coli and aerobic colony counts) in minced beef across Scotland. All of the pathogens detected and a subset of 100 isolates of generic E. coli will be tested for antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The primary objective of the survey is to generate baseline data on the prevalence of pathogens and hygiene indicator organisms in minced beef on retail sale. A secondary objective is to see if there are any patterns in variation, such as seasonal changes, in order to identify any risk factors associated with microbiological contamination.
The survey will be carried out between January and December 2019 and the results and analysis are due to be published by summer 2020.