In a survey at a local abattoir, agar sausage samples were taken at 10 carcass sites on each of 156 beef carcasses at different positions along the dressing line. The carcasses were selected to include all carcass types, viz. small (< 200 kg) and large (> 200 kg) as well as lean and fat carcasses. The 156 carcasses were divided into three groups of 52 carcasses each. Samples were incubated at three different temperatures to determine the aerobic count, mesophilic count and psychrotrophic count. Results of the survey showed that despite mean initial counts of 4,5–7,7 × 102, intermediate handling and the subsequent contamination that took place along the dressing-line, the final chilling process rendered carcasses with acceptable bacterial levels(< 2,5 × 102).

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