Detection of foodborne pathogens is of crucial importance to food safety. For the meat industry, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes are amongst those that cause the most concerns to the consumers and regulatory agencies. While on-site testing is always desired, most often, samples need to be shipped to a remote laboratory for microbial analysis. Microbial flora changes during shipping will affect the detection of the pathogens, which, in most cases, present on those samples at very low levels. Current FSIS guidelines specify that samples taken must be kept on ice and processed with 24 hours. However, this requirement often is difficult to meet, especially when a large number of samples are concerned. Shipping media and protocols developed for clinical samples are often not practical for shipping various meat or animal related samples.
The stated objectives for this work were: The purpose of this study is to develop a simple protocol practical for shipping meat or animal related samples.
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