Risk Factors and Control Measures for Bacterial Contamination in the Bovine Meat Chain: A Review on Salmonella and Pathogenic E.coli

Eugène Niyonzima, Martin Patrick Ongol, Anasthase Kimonyo, Marianne Sindic


Salmonella and pathogenic Escherichia coli are known to be the major bacterial agents responsible for human foodborne infections attributable to meat. A review of the specialized literature was carried out to identify the risk factors for bovine meat contamination by these pathogens from the cattle farm to meat consumption. Animal stress during transport to the slaughterhouse and the duration of the lairage period were identified as the key factors influencing the faecal excretion of Salmonella and pathogenic E. coli as well as cattle contamination prior to slaughter. At the abattoir level, hides and visceral contents appear to be the main sources of pathogenic bacteria that contaminate carcasses along the meat production chain. Finally, temperature abuses during distribution and meat contamination by infected handlers were found to be important contributors to the post-slaughter contamination of bovine meat. The findings of this study indicate that efficient management of human food borne infections attributable to bovine meat requires an integrated application of control measures involving all actors along the meat chain, namely slaughterhouses, meat processing plants, distributors and consumers.


bovine meat; Salmonella; pathogenic E. coli; safety; risk factors

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jfr.v4n5p98

Journal of Food Research   ISSN 1927-0887(Print)   ISSN 1927-0895(Online)

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