The objective of this study was to evaluate the changes in microbial contamination levels of each porcine carcass and fresh pork in a general distribution process. A total of 100 commercial pigs were sampled (six sampling sites per individual, total 600 samples) at four sequential stages: slaughterhouse (after carcass grading and boning), processing line, retail outlet, and local market. No significant differences were observed in the contaminant percentages among sampling sites and sample collection years (P>0.05) with the exception of Bacillus cereus. The contaminant percentage of B. cereus at 1st collection year was higher than these of 2nd collection year (28.31% vs12.26%, P<0.05). B. cereus and Listeria monocytogenes were the most frequently detected pathogenic bacteria in the slaughterhouse and markets, respectively. On the other hand, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Yersinia enterocolitica were not detected in carcasses or pork collected from any carcass sites and pork samples. However, the frequency of pathogenic bacteria in end-products at local markets was not highly related to the initial contamination of porcine carcasses in the slaughterhouse. Thus, the improvement of microbial safety for pork end-products requires hygienic control of porcine carcasses and meat cutting during all operations in the slaughterhouse, processing line, retail outlet, and local market.
- Foodborne pathogenic bacteria
- Porcine carcass
- Stepwise monitoring
ASJC Scopus subject areas