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Ciência Rural

Print version ISSN 0103-8478On-line version ISSN 1678-4596


MARTINELI, Thaís Mioto et al. Microbiological counting in lamb carcasses from an abattoir in São Paulo, Brazil. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2009, vol.39, n.6, pp.1836-1841. ISSN 0103-8478.

The consumption of lamb meat in Brazil has increased in the last years but little information about the microbiological quality of this product is available. To evaluate the hygienic-sanitary conditions of lamb carcasses, the quantification of microorganism populations indicators (mesophiles and psychrotrophs; total and thermotolerant coliforms; Escherichia coli; moulds and yeasts) and the pathogenic microorganisms indentification (Salmonella sp. and Listeria spp.) were performed. A total of 60 lamb carcasses were sampled from one abattoir in São Paulo. Swab samples were collected from three points (forequarter, back and hindquarter) on the muscle surface after carcasses final washing. Statistical analysis consisted of descriptive evaluation of the results whose counts were grouped by intervals of microorganism populations. Counts ranged from 1.0 x 101 to 8.0 x 104 colony-forming unit cm-2 (CFU cm-2) for mesophiles; 1.0 x 100 to 4.4 x 104CFU cm-2 for psychrotrophs; < 1.0 x 100 to 4.4 x 104CFU cm-2 for moulds and yeasts; < 0.3 to > 32.0 most probable number/cm2 (MPN cm-2) for total and thermotolerant coliforms and Escherichia coli. Salmonella sp. and Listeria spp. were not found in any of the carcasses. Most carcasses presented low counts for all microorganisms. Overall results may be explained by the small size of the industry where the study was taken. Results suggest that good microbiological quality lamb meat is possible to be obtained, but improvement in hygienic-sanitary conditions is still required.

Keywords : carcasses; lamb; indicator and pathogenic microorganisms; hygiene.

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