ABSTRACT

“Blown pack” spoilage (BPS) of chilled vacuum-packed meat is mainly caused by anaerobic and psychrophilic Clostridium spp., including C. estertheticum, C. gasigenes, C. frigoriphilum, and C. frigidicarnis. Recently, its occurrence has been reported in several countries, especially in internationally traded meat. Therefore, this study aimed at detecting the occurrence of psychrophilic Clostridium spp. causing BPS in meat juice samples (MJS) from chilled vacuum-packed beef and lamb meat imported from other countries to Switzerland. One hundred fifty-four MJS (n = 78 from beef; n = 76 from lamb meat) were screened for psychrophilic Clostridium spp. by quantitative PCR, whereby MJS with a crossing point PCR cycle value <35 and >35 were considered positive and negative, respectively. Psychrophilic Clostridium spp. were detected in 10 MJS, of which 2 were from beef and 8 were from lamb meat. The two beef MJS originated from Spain and Lithuania, whereas the lamb MJS originated from New Zealand (six) and Australia (two). This is the first report of psychrophilic Clostridium spp. in MJS from chilled vacuum-packed beef and lamb meat imported from other countries to Switzerland and provides further evidence that the risk of BPS in lamb meat is higher than in beef.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Psychrophilic Clostridium spp. were detected in 10 of 154 meat juice samples.

  • Prevalence of psychrophilic Clostridium spp. in lamb meat was higher than in beef.

  • Prevalence of psychrophilic Clostridium spp. was highest in meat imported from New Zealand and Australia.

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