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Int J Food Microbiol. 2008 Mar 31;123(1-2):88-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2007.12.007. Epub 2007 Dec 23.

Microbial profiles of carcasses and minced meat from kangaroos processed in South Australia.

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South Australian Research and Development Institute, 33 Flemington Street, Glenside, South Australia 5065, Australia.


The microbiological profiles of kangaroo carcasses and minced meat at game meat processing plants in South Australia were determined in surveys undertaken in 2002 and 2004. In 2002 mean values for log(10) total viable counts (TVC) on carcasses at individual plants ranged from 0.9 to 3.9 log(10) cfu/cm(2), with the mean for all plants being 2.3 log(10) cfu/cm(2). In 2004 the between plant range was narrower, by about 1 log unit, and the mean value for carcasses at all plants was 1.2 log(10) cfu/cm(2). Minced kangaroo meat, was sampled in 2002 only. The overall mean log(10) TVC was 3.9 log(10) cfu/g, with mean counts at individual plants ranging from 3.1 to 4.6 log(10) cfu/g. The overall prevalence of E. coli was 70%, with mean numbers of 2.1 log(10) cfu/g on positive samples. Salmonella was not detected in any of 60 samples from carcasses in 2002. However, in 2004 Salmonella was detected in 4/385 samples (1.04%, 95% CI: 0.28%-2.64%). In minced kangaroo meat, Salmonella was detected in 9/50 (18%, 95% CI: 9%-31%) samples. The abdominal cavity, sampled in 2004, was found to be highly contaminated, with E. coli isolated from 46% of samples and the mean number for positive samples being 2.7 log(10) cfu/cm(2); Salmonella was isolated from 14/120 (12%; 95% CI: 6.52%-18.80%) of abdominal cavities. The practice of collecting carcasses together and pushing grouped carcasses into the chiller likely leads to cross contamination of carcasses from the abdominal cavities of others. To align results of sampling by swabbing for domestic purposes with excision sampling, required for export purposes, both methods were used to sample opposite sides of each of the 50 carcasses sampled in 2004. The results obtained with the two methods of sampling were similar.

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