A model system was developed to study attachment to and possibly detachment of bacteria from pork skin and thin-surface slices of beef and lamb carcasses. The technique involves embedding pork skin and beef and lamb surfaces in solidified wax with the skin surface exposed. After exposure of the skin or carcass surface to bacterial suspensions and subsequent manipulations, the sample is removed aseptically from the wax and subjected to agar plate counting methods. A direct relationship existed between bacterial counts of the skin or carcass surface and concentration of bacterial cells in the attachment medium. Much of the bacterial attachment occurred during the first minute of immersion in the attachment medium, although in some instances continued attachment occurred over a 30-min period. Gram-negative motile bacteria showed greater attachment than did gram-positive non-motile species. Temperature and pH of the attachment medium had little effect on the extent of bacterial attachment.

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