Reproducibility of an excision surface sampling method for the microbiological analysis of 204 samples of spoiled and nonspoiled lamb liver was studied. The procedure consisted of removing a 5-cm2 area from the liver (1–2 mm in thickness) with sterile scalpel and metal templates. Since variation was observed in the thickness of the excised portions taken from different livers, all excised samples were weighed and results for microbiological analysis (aerobic Plate counts at 30 and 7°C, Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas, and lactic acid bacteria counts) were expressed as both log CFU/cm2 and log CFU/g. For all groups of microorganisms studied, in both spoiled and nonspoiled samples, a highly significant correlation was found (r ≥ 0.996, p < 0.0001) between results expressed as log CFU/cm2 and log CFU/g.

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