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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effect of Refrigerating Delayed Shipments of Raw Ground Beef on the Detection of Salmonella Typhimurium

Authors
item Narang, Neelam
item Tamplin, Mark
item Cray Jr, William

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 26, 2005
Publication Date: June 1, 2006
Citation: Narang, N., Tamplin, M.L., Cray Jr, W.C. 2006. Effect of refrigerating delayed shipments of raw ground beef on the detection of salmonella typhimurium. Journal of Food Protection.Vol. 68:1581-1586.

Interpretive Summary: The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) requires meat processors to implement Pathogen Reduction and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems, as well as to meet Salmonella performance standards. Compliance with these performance standards is determined by analyzing food product samples that are randomly collected by Federal inspectors and then shipped by overnight courier to FSIS Field Service Laboratories. The FSIS protocol requires that samples be analyzed the day after collection, or discarded when handling and shipping deviations occur. The present studies were conducted to determine if common handling deviations affect the isolation of Salmonella. To simulate these conditions, four groups of raw ground beef samples were inoculated with 0.04-0.3 CFU/g of Salmonella Typhimurium at one laboratory and then shipped to the FSIS testing laboratory by overnight courier. The first group of ground beef samples was analyzed within ~1 h of arrival (approved practice); the second group was left in the original shipping container for 24 h before processing; and the third and fourth groups of samples were removed from the original shipping containers and stored at room temperature (21 ± 20C) for 6 h, and then stored at 4 ± 20C for 24 and 48 h, respectively, before analysis. The results of these studies showed that there were no significant differences in the presence and levels of Salmonella in ground beef among the four test groups. These findings will permit the testing of more ground beef samples for Salmonella, as well as reduce the associated costs of resampling.

Technical Abstract: In 1996, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published regulations for Pathogen Reduction and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems, including Salmonella performance standards, to reduce food safety hazards associated with raw meat and poultry products. To determine performance standards compliance, Federal inspectors randomly collect select food product samples and ship them by overnight courier to one of three FSIS Field Service Laboratories for Salmonella analysis. The FSIS procedure is to analyze samples the day after collection; samples delayed in transit are discarded. However, there have been no reported studies to determine whether samples which arrive late and are processed after an additional 24 to 48 h will yield comparable Salmonella detection results. In the present studies, we approximated deviations in sample handing conditions by inoculating four groups of raw ground beef samples with 0.04-0.3 CFU/g of Salmonella Typhimurium at one laboratory and then shipping the samples to the FSIS, Eastern Laboratory in Athens, GA by overnight courier. The first group of ground beef samples was analyzed within approximately 1 h of arrival; the second group was left in original containers for 24 h before processing; and the third and fourth groups of samples were removed from the original shipping containers and stored at room temperature (21 ± 20C) for 6 h, then stored at 4 ± 20C for 24 and 48 h, respectively, before analysis. There were no significant differences in the presence and levels of Salmonella in ground beef among the four test groups.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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