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Keywords:

  • Bacterial quality;
  • Offal;
  • Red meat;
  • Sampling location;
  • Season

Abstract

The present study aimed to evaluate the bacteriological quality of beef (n = 52), lamb (n = 52) and beef offal (n = 52) marketed in Casablanca, Morocco. Meat and offal samples (n = 156), were collected randomly from butcheries, supermarkets, and slaughterhouses. Two sampling periods were considered, one during the hot season and the second one during the cold season. The samples were analyzed for the presence of the following bacteria: Escherichia coli, coagulase-positive Staphylococcus, Clostridium perfringens, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes. Results indicated that counts of the aerobic plate count, and fecal coliforms were particularly high in all the samples analyzed. E. coli, coagulase-positive Staphylococcus and C. perfringens were detected in 37.8, 16, and 4.5% of the meat samples, respectively. Neither Salmonella nor L. monocytogenes were isolated from meat samples. Approximately 26.9% of beef, 34.6% of lamb and 28.8% of beef offal samples contained bacteria above the maximum limits established by the Moroccan regulatory standards for meat and meat products. Seasonality and the distribution location significantly (p < 0.05) affected bacterial populations: the hot season and butcheries appeared to be cases where the highest populations of bacteria in meat were observed. These high levels of microbiological contamination attest the poor hygienic quality of meat and offal, possibly due to uncontrolled processing, storage, and handling of these products.