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Food Sci Biotechnol. 2018 Mar 19;27(4):1219-1225. doi: 10.1007/s10068-018-0356-7. eCollection 2018 Aug.

Evaluation of the microbiological status of raw pork meat in Korea: modification of the microbial guideline levels for meat.

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Department of Animal Products and Food Science, College of Animal Life Science, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, 24341 Republic of Korea.


This study aimed to evaluate the suitability of total aerobic plate count (APC) guidelines for raw pork (< 1 × 107 CFU/g) distributed in Korea. The APC values for raw pork collected from meat packing centers and meat shops in three provinces (Seoul/Gyeonggi, Gangwon, and Chungcheong) were reported to be ≤ 1.5 × 106 CFU/g. To evaluate practical APC guidelines for pork and meat quality, APC levels and quality traits were determined for pork under cold storage. On day 12, APC for pork was 4.3 × 106 CFU/g, which was below the guideline level, while overall acceptability scores were < 3.0, indicating that the pork was rated as not acceptable by sensory panels. Therefore, to satisfy both the microbiological safety of pork and organoleptic quality for consumer palatability, we suggest that the current APC guideline levels for pork should be lowered to 1 × 106 CFU/g.


Microbiological guideline; Pork meat; Sensory evaluation; Total aerobic plate counts

Conflict of interest statement

Compliance with ethical standardsThe authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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