Comparison of a manual boneless beef trim sampling method to traditional N60 Plus SamplerTM and N60 excision sampling
Lembke, Ashley R.
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Effective product sampling for pathogens is the cornerstone of process verification in an establishment’s food safety system. The objective of this study was to determine if the use of a Manual Sampling Device (MSD) differs from N60 Plus (N60+) and N60 (N60) excision sampling for the recovery of indicator microorganisms (Aerobic Plate Count [APC], Enterobacteriaceae [EBC] and Total Coliform Counts [TCC]) and E. coli O157:H7 on boneless beef trimmings and offal products. To characterize indicator organism recovery, boneless beef trimmings in combo storage bins were sampled using a N60+ and MSD, and offal products in boxes were sampled using N60 and MSD, at four beef slaughter plants. Samples were submitted to a commercial laboratory and plated for aerobic plate counts, Enterobacteriaceae and total coliform counts . To evaluate E. coli O157:H7 recovery, single combo storage bins of boneless beef trimmings which previously tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 were resampled using the N60+ and MSD sampling methods. These samples were also submitted to a commercial laboratory and PCR analyzed for microbial pathogen E. coli O157:H7. The log10 mean values of APC, EBC and TCC from the MSD sampling method were greater than the values recovered from N60+ and N60 sampling methods (P < 0.05). Data analysis showed no significant interactions between sampling method and plant; indicating microorganism recovery from MSD, N60 or N60+ sampling methods were not influenced by facility. Results also indicate the presence of E. coli O157:H7 on meat products was low for all sampling methods, regardless of location. The MSD sampling method resulted in greater recovery of microorganisms in boneless beef trimmings and beef offal products. Finally, the MSD sampling method recovered E. coli O157:H7 more often (P = 0.054) than the N60+ from combo storage bins of boneless beef which had the previously tested positive for E. coli O157:H7.