Microbial contamination in food processing plants can play a fundamental role in food quality and safety. The aims of this study were to learn more about the possible influence of the meat processing environment on initial fresh meat contamination and to investigate the differences between small-scale retail distribution (SD) and large-scale retail distribution (LD) facilities. Samples were collected from butcheries (n=20), including LD (n=10) and SD (n=10) facilities, over two sampling campaigns. Samples included fresh beef and pork cuts and swab samples from the knife, the chopping board, and the butcher's hand. The microbiota of both meat samples and environmental swabs were very complex, including more than 800 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) collapsed at the species level. The 16S rRNA sequencing analysis showed that core microbiota were shared by 80% of the samples and included Pseudomonas spp., Streptococcus spp., Brochothrix spp., Psychrobacter spp., and Acinetobacter spp. Hierarchical clustering of the samples based on the microbiota showed a certain separation between meat and environmental samples, with higher levels of Proteobacteria in meat. In particular, levels of Pseudomonas and several Enterobacteriaceae members were significantly higher in meat samples, while Brochothrix, Staphylococcus, lactic acid bacteria, and Psychrobacter prevailed in environmental swab samples. Consistent clustering was also observed when metabolic activities were considered by predictive metagenomic analysis of the samples. An increase in carbohydrate metabolism was predicted for the environmental swabs and was consistently linked to Firmicutes, while increases in pathways related to amino acid and lipid metabolism were predicted for the meat samples and were positively correlated with Proteobacteria. Our results highlighted the importance of the processing environment in contributing to the initial microbial levels of meat and clearly showed that the type of retail facility (LD or SD) did not apparently affect the contamination. © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Overlap of spoilage-associated microbiota between meat and the meat processing environment in small-scale and large-scale retail distributions

STELLATO, GIUSEPPINA;LA STORIA, ANTONIETTA;DE FILIPPIS, FRANCESCA;VILLANI, FRANCESCO;ERCOLINI, DANILO
2016

Abstract

Microbial contamination in food processing plants can play a fundamental role in food quality and safety. The aims of this study were to learn more about the possible influence of the meat processing environment on initial fresh meat contamination and to investigate the differences between small-scale retail distribution (SD) and large-scale retail distribution (LD) facilities. Samples were collected from butcheries (n=20), including LD (n=10) and SD (n=10) facilities, over two sampling campaigns. Samples included fresh beef and pork cuts and swab samples from the knife, the chopping board, and the butcher's hand. The microbiota of both meat samples and environmental swabs were very complex, including more than 800 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) collapsed at the species level. The 16S rRNA sequencing analysis showed that core microbiota were shared by 80% of the samples and included Pseudomonas spp., Streptococcus spp., Brochothrix spp., Psychrobacter spp., and Acinetobacter spp. Hierarchical clustering of the samples based on the microbiota showed a certain separation between meat and environmental samples, with higher levels of Proteobacteria in meat. In particular, levels of Pseudomonas and several Enterobacteriaceae members were significantly higher in meat samples, while Brochothrix, Staphylococcus, lactic acid bacteria, and Psychrobacter prevailed in environmental swab samples. Consistent clustering was also observed when metabolic activities were considered by predictive metagenomic analysis of the samples. An increase in carbohydrate metabolism was predicted for the environmental swabs and was consistently linked to Firmicutes, while increases in pathways related to amino acid and lipid metabolism were predicted for the meat samples and were positively correlated with Proteobacteria. Our results highlighted the importance of the processing environment in contributing to the initial microbial levels of meat and clearly showed that the type of retail facility (LD or SD) did not apparently affect the contamination. © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/640152
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