Numbers of coliforms, Escherichia coli, F-RNA coliphage, rotavirus, bovine enteric calicivirus and presence of non-O157 STEC on commercial vacuum packaged beef.

Jones, T.H., Nattress, F.M., Dilts, B.D., Olsen, D., and Muehlhauser, V. (2014). "Numbers of coliforms, Escherichia coli, F-RNA coliphage, rotavirus, bovine enteric calicivirus and presence of non-O157 STEC on commercial vacuum packaged beef.", Food Microbiology, 42, pp. 225-231. doi : 10.1016/j.fm.2014.04.001  Access to full text

Abstract

The numbers of coliforms, Escherichia coli, F-RNA coliphages, bovine enteric calicivirus (BEC) and rotavirus (RV) and presence of non-O157 shiga toxigenic E. coli (STEC) were determined on commercial vacuum packaged beef subprimals at the retail level from swabs obtained from the entire surfaces of 150 cuts that originated from federally and provincially registered plants. The prevalence and log mean numbers of E. coli were higher in provincially registered plants than in federally registered plants; 64% vs 20%, respectively, and −0.3 vs −1.22 log cfu/100 cm2, respectively. In contrast, the prevalence and mean log numbers of F-RNA coliphages were lower for the provincially registered plants than for the federally registered plants; 31% vs 68% and −0.86 vs −0.13 log cfu/100 cm2, respectively. One E. coli sample tested positive for stx2 and eae. F-RNA coliphages associated with human origin (GII/GIII) were detected in 12% and 30% of samples that originated from provincially and federally registered plants, respectively. RV RNA was detected in 4% of samples while BEC RNA was not detected. Although the infectivity of RV is unknown, the presence of viable F-RNA coliphages suggests that consumers could potentially be at risk when consuming undercooked meat that is contaminated with RV.

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