The microbial quality of ground and comminuted turkey meat was examined using raw meat and meat after two cooking times. Eight triplicate samples were obtained from a commercial processing plant over an 8-month period and analyzed for aerobic plate count (APC), coliforms, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens and Salmonella. The APC for 29%of the raw ground and 0% of the raw comminuted turkey meat samples was greater than 5.0 × 106/g. Raw ground and comminuted meat yielded a mean coliform most probable number (MPN) of 2.2 × 102 and 6.2 × 102/g respectively. Mean E. coli MPNs per gram were 12 for raw ground and 49 for raw comminuted meat. Twenty-five percent of the 24 raw ground samples, and 46% of the comminuted samples exceeded 50 E. coli MPN/g. S aureus was isolated from 25% of the raw ground and 54% of raw comminuted samples. Salmonellae were isolated from 8% of the raw ground samples and 12% of raw comminuted samples. C. perfringens was isolated from 50 and 55% of 40 ground and 40 comminuted meat samples, respectively. Cooking reduced the microbial numbers and isolation frequency from all samples.

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Author notes

1Colorado State University Experiment Station Scientific Series Paper No. 2553.