Assessment of Beef Meat Microbial Contamination during Skinning, Dressing, Transportation and Marketing at a Commercial Abattoir in Kigali City, Rwanda
Ongol, Martin Patrick
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The study was conducted to assess the bacteriological contamination of beef meat in a commercial abattoir at slaughtering stages (skinning and dressing), during transportation from the abattoir to butcheries and during marketing in Kigali City. Twenty four samples were collected (6 samples at each stage) and the total bacterial, total coliforms, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus counts enumerated using conventional microbial plate culture methods. The results showed the contamination of carcasses by all tested bacterial groups except S.aureus. The level of microbial contamination increased progressively after the slaughtering of cattle to the marketing of carcasses. The contamination by total aerobic bacteria increased from 5.1 to 10.9 log CFU/g. While contamination by total coliforms increased from 3.1 to 4.7 log CFU/g and the contamination by E. coli increased from 0.8 to 3.0 log CFU/g. S.aureus was not detectedat all the four considered stages. Compared to the European Microbiological Standards for meat, the observed levels of beef carcasses contamination, from the skinning stage to the marketing level, were found to be out of the acceptable range. This could be due to contamination at slaughtering, transportation and marketing stages. In addition, handling meat at ambient temperatures could have lead to increased microbial load during transportation and marketing. Therefore, there is need to improve on hygiene during slaughtering, marketing and transportation in Kigali City.