Microbial levels for food contact and environmental surfaces in meat processing plants and retail shops
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The microbial contamination levels for food contact and environmental surfaces in meat processing plants and retail shops were assessed. Sixty-eight samples from meat processing plants and 44 from retail shops were collected. Samples were tested for total aerobic plate count (APC). Via monthly evaluation of samples from plants, the highest APC values were obtained in January as well as December and the second highest in April, May, and February (p<0.005). The highest APC values of samples from plants were obtained from boots, followed by aprons, cutting machines, and knives (p<0.001). Interestingly, the APC value of samples from shops in January was highest (p<0.001). The contamination of cotton gloves, knives, boots, and wristlets was relatively higher even in shops (p<0.001). In addition, there was a positive correlation between the APC and specimen (r=0.231). For monitoring, the microbial sampling should consider testing the food contact and environmental surfaces along with raw meats.
Keywordsfood contact and environmental surfaces meat processing plants retail shops microbial contamination
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