Microbiological safety and hygienic quality of camel meat at abattoir and retail houses in Jigjiga city, Ethiopia
Introduction: Camel meat is a relatively new, emerging meat type that may serve as sources of foodborne pathogens to the consumer.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the microbiological safety and quality of camel meat from an abattoir and retail houses in Jigjiga city, Ethiopia. A total of 140 camel carcass and retail meat samples (70 each) were examined for the presence and load of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli O157: H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter spp., aerobic bacteria, fecal coliforms (FCs), and yeast and molds (Y&Ms). Presumptive isolates were confirmed using biochemical tests.
Results: S. aureus and E. coli O157: H7 populations varied widely between carcasses at the abattoir and retail meat samples. S. aureus and E. coli O157:H7 were detected in 12.1 and 4.3% of the samples, respectively. E. coli O157:H7 counts were significantly higher in retail meat (4.21 ± 0.02) compared to the carcasses (3.99 ± 0.00) at the abattoir (P < 0.05). Out of 140 samples analyzed, 5% were positive for Campylobacter spp. The mean fecal coliforms, and yeast and molds counts were significantly higher in retail meat samples (6.17 ± 0.067 and 4.95 ± 0.067 log10 cfug-1, respectively). L. monocytogenes (11 cfug-1) were detected below the permissible limit (100 cfug-1).
Conclusions: This study indicated that the further the process progress, the greater the risk of contamination to the product. Therefore, good hygienic practices at the abattoir and retail houses and strict slaughtering process should be prompted to enhance the overall safety and quality of camel meat.
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