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Int J Food Microbiol. 1992 Jan-Feb;15(1-2):191-4.

Contamination of pig hindquarters with Staphylococcus aureus.

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Institut für tierärztliche Lebensmittelhygiene, Universität Zürich, Switzerland.


Swab specimens from 4357 pig hindquarters provided for production of cured raw ham were contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus in 22.7%. The bacterial counts for S. aureus on the rind surface of the raw, uncured ham were between 10(1) and 10(3) cfu/cm2 in 89% of the positive samples. In the remaining 11% of contaminated ham counts of 10(3) to 10(6) cfu/cm2 were determined. There were major differences in the rate of contamination between pork from different suppliers. Questioning the suppliers revealed that pork highly contaminated with S. aureus could be traced back to certain abattoirs. This suggests that the technique of slaughter, concomitant hygiene precautions and the subsequent refrigeration of the carcasses affect the contamination of the meat with staphylococci.

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