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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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TITLE:  Prevalence of Campylobacter spp., Escherichia coli, and Salmonella serovars in retail chicken, turkey, pork, and beef from the Greater Washington, D.C., area
 
AUTHORS:  Zhao C;Ge B;De VJ;Sudler R;Yeh E;Zhao S;White DG;Wagner D;Meng J;
 
YEAR:  2001
 
JOURNAL ABBREV:  Appl Environ Microbiol
 
MONTH:  Dec
 
TYPE:  JOUR
 
REFMAN INDEX:  85
 
JOURNAL FULL:  Applied and environmental microbiology
 
VOLUME:  67
 
ISSUE:  12
 
START PAGE:  5431
 
END PAGE:  5436
 
KEYWORDS:  analysis;Animals;Campylobacter;Campylobacter coli;Campylobacter jejuni;Cattle;Chickens;District of Columbia;Escherichia coli;Food;Food Contamination;isolation & purification;Maryland;Meat;microbiology;Prevalence;Research;Safety;Salmonella;Seasons;Swine;Turkeys;Vehicles;
 
ABSTRACT:  A total of 825 samples of retail raw meats (chicken, turkey, pork, and beef) were examined for the presence of Escherichia coli and Salmonella serovars, and 719 of these samples were also tested for Campylobacter spp. The samples were randomly obtained from 59 stores of four supermarket chains during 107 sampling visits in the Greater Washington, D.C., area from June 1999 to July 2000. The majority (70.7%) of chicken samples (n = 184) were contaminated with Campylobacter, and a large percentage of the stores visited (91%) had Campylobacter-contaminated chickens. Approximately 14% of the 172 turkey samples yielded Campylobacter, whereas fewer pork (1.7%) and beef (0.5%) samples were positive for this pathogen. A total of 722 Campylobacter isolates were obtained from 159 meat samples; 53.6% of these isolates were Campylobacter jejuni, 41.3% were Campylobacter coli, and 5.1% were other species. Of the 212 chicken samples, 82 (38.7%) yielded E. coli, while 19.0% of the beef samples, 16.3% of the pork samples, and 11.9% of the turkey samples were positive for E. coli. However, only 25 (3.0%) of the retail meat samples tested were positive for Salmonella. Significant differences in the bacterial contamination rates were observed for the four supermarket chains. This study revealed that retail raw meats are often contaminated with food-borne pathogens; however, there are marked differences in the prevalence of such pathogens in different meats. Raw retail meats are potential vehicles for transmitting food-borne diseases, and our findings stress the need for increased implementation of hazard analysis of critical control point (HACCP) and consumer food safety education efforts
 
AFFILIATIONS:  Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA
 
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