The physicochemical and microbiological quality of meat produced in a traditional slaughterhouse in Mansoura City, Egypt
Keywords:Preslaughter stress, ultimate pH, meat quality, viable counts, Enterobacteriaceae counts
Introduction: In several developing countries the slaughter of meat producing animals is still practiced in traditional slaughterhouses. In the Mansoura slaughterhouse, animals are subjected to various stressors and treated with cruelty, in addition to unhygienic treatment and handling of animal carcasses. Hence, this study was designed to investigate the meat quality from cattle, buffalo, and sheep carcasses processed in an old-fashioned slaughterhouse from Mansoura city, Egypt, in the context of pre-slaughter stress.
Methodology: The bleeding efficiency and the ultimate pH (pHu) of carcasses were tested, along with the effect of post-slaughter handling practice on the microbiological properties of meat.
Results: From the 351 examined animals, the ultimate pH (pHu) was less than 5.8 in 81 cases (23.1%) and higher than 6.0 in 165 cases (47%). Furthermore, 45 (12.8%), 270 (76.9%), and 36 (10.3%) of the tested carcasses were well-, moderate- and imperfectly-bled, respectively. Cultivation using the wet-dry triple swab technique sampled from the outer surfaces of cattle, buffalo, and sheep carcasses revealed that about 47.9% of the tested carcasses were contaminated, with total viable count levels exceeding 7 log10 cfu/cm2, and 42.7% were contaminated with Enterobacteriaceae, with levels > 3 log10 cfu/cm2. The molds and yeasts from the tested carcasses had lower counts (< 2 log10 cfu/cm2).
Conclusions: Results indicated neglect in terms of sanitary measures during slaughtering and dressing of carcasses, with subsequent higher microbial contamination and impaired meat quality. Therefore, the traditional slaughtering facilities should be modernized to increase their meat producing efficiency, subsequently leading to exportation possibilities.
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