The objective of this study was to record a quantitative approximation of how many bacteria are present within various samples of meat products. The bacterial content of each meat sample is vital information in regards to improvements within the meat processing industry, and gives reason for changing or sustaining current feeding and processing conditions. Understanding which methods taken in processing meat that is sold to the public is a matter of public health, as obtaining and maintaining lower levels of bacteria in meats will reduce the likelihood of succumbing to illness from the consumption of such products by the end consumer. In a previous study focusing on the levels of antibiotic resistant bacteria found within randomly selected meat samples, it was found that 41.4% acquired meats were infected with strains Staphylococcus aureus (Waters et al. 2011). It has also been shown that the presence of toxin producing Escherichia coli strains is commonly found, at approximately 24.1 percent of 1001 random samples, among meats produced in the United States, posing a serious health threat. These, as well as similar studies, typically focused on a single type of bacterium, while in this study, there will be no discrimination of the type of bacteria and, instead, will provide an idea of the quantitative levels of bacterial presence in the randomly selected sources.
The purpose of obtaining this knowledge is to show a direct relationship between the processing conditions of meat products and their bacterial allotment. If the sources of the meat, or meats being processed, are exposed to unsanitary conditions, then there will be a higher level of bacterial infection amongst the products. As found by McGinnis and Gill in 2004, once...
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...ntent. It would also be recommended to take samples from these same sources, and research the bacterial cultures that grow to see exactly what types of bacteria are present, and if they are in a high enough number to cause illness.
Shand RF. 2014. BIO 205: NAU Microbiology Lab Manual. Englewood (CO): Morton Publishing Company.
Gill CO, McGinnis JC. 2004. Microbiological conditions of mechanically tenderized beef cuts prepared at four retail stores. International Journal of Food Microbiology. 95(1): 95-102.
Bosilevac JM, Koohmaraie M. 2011. Prevalence and Characterization of Non-O157 Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Isolates from Commercial Ground Beef in the United States. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 77(6): 2103-2112.
Waters et al. 2011.Multidrug-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in US Meat and Poultry