Microbiota analysis to reveal temperature abuse of fresh pork

Tasja Buschhardt, Martin Iain Bahl, Tina Beck Hansen, Asker Daniel Brejnrod, Waleed Abu Al-Soud, Martin Steen Mortensen, Søren Johannes Sørensen, Søren Aabo

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Violations of temperature regulations in the meat chain may affect meat safety. Methods are lacking to estimate whether meat has been subjected to temperature abuse. Exposure to too high temperatures may lead to systematic changes in the diverse bacterial communities of fresh meat. We investigated whether temperature induced changes in the community composition on fresh meat surfaces can reflect the temperature-history (combination of time and temperature). Sterile pieces of pork were inoculated with a carcass swab homogenate, to which Salmonella was added. Changes in the meat microbiota were monitored during aerobic chill-storage (4 °C and 7 °C) and temperature abuse (12 °C and 16 °C) for 96 hours, by culture-based methods and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Bacterial genera that dominated during prolonged temperature abuse were Acinetobacter, Serratia and Pseudomonas, whereas chill-stored meat was dominated by Pseudomonas only. We also showed that the initial community affects subsequent changes during storage. The results suggest that principal coordinate analysis of beta diversity could be a useful tool to reveal temperature abused meat. Sequence data and culturing data revealed a strong positive association between growth of Escherichia coli and growth of Salmonella, which suggests that Escherichia coli can be used as indicator of temperature-history supporting growth of Salmonella on fresh pork surfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Danish Microbiological Society Annual Congress 2017 - Programme & Abstracts
Place of PublicationCopenhagen, Denmark
PublisherAmerican Society for Microbiology
Publication date2017
Article numberP33
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventDanish Microbiological Society 2017 Congress - Eigtveds Pakhus, Copenhagne, Denmark
Duration: 13 Nov 201713 Nov 2017


ConferenceDanish Microbiological Society 2017 Congress
LocationEigtveds Pakhus


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