Research – Microbiological Quality of Red Meat Offal Produced at Australian Export Establishments

MDPI

A national baseline study of offal hygiene was undertaken at 17 Australian export establishments. A total of 1756 samples of different offal types were analysed for aerobic plate count (APC), generic Escherichia coli, and coliform bacteria. Average APC values varied from 1.51 to 5.26 Log10 CFU/g, depending on species and offal type. The average APC on beef, sheep, lamb, and goat offal was 3.25, 3.38, 3.70, and 2.97 Log10 CFU/g, respectively. There is a small but significant difference in APC on offal sampled frozen (3.26 Log10 CFU/g) and offal sampled fresh (3.73 Log10 CFU/g). Escherichia coli prevalence on beef, sheep, lamb, and goat offal was 15.4%, 28.1%, 17.5%, and 39.3%, respectively. The number of E. coli on positive offal samples ranged from 1.42 to 1.82 Log10 CFU/g. While the quality of some offal approach that of muscle meat, the hygienic quality of red meat offal can be understood by considering the anatomical site from which it is harvested, the usual bacterial levels found at that site, the difficulty in hygienically removing the offal from the carcase, the process prior to packing, and the chilling method used. View Full-Text

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