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Beindorf, Philipp-Michael; Kovalenko, Oksana; Ulrich, Sebastian; Geissler, Hanna; Korbel, Rüdiger; Schwaiger, Karin; Dorn-In, Samart and Esteban-Cuesta, Irene (2022): Investigation of Meat from Ostriches Raised and Slaughtered in Bavaria, Germany: Microbiological Quality and Antimicrobial Resistance. In: Biology-Basel, Vol. 11, No. 7 [EPUB, 123kB]


Simple Summary The rapid increase in the world population might lead to the need for new food resources. Ostrich meat remains an exotic food product, although it is characterized by high nutritional value. However, to secure food safety, good monitoring and control programs have to be implemented. Furthermore, standard data concerning the general microbiological status of meat, its evolution in time, and aspects influencing the different parameters have to be assessed in order to provide current information. Thus, production, slaughter, and processing procedures may be improved. For this purpose, the microbiological status, prevalence of zoonotic pathogens, and presence of antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms were assessed. The results will provide baseline data that can be used for future official specific hygiene control procedures and monitoring programs for producing ostrich meat. Ostrich meat is characterized by high nutritional value;however, it remains an exotic product in most countries worldwide. In Europe, only few data are available regarding its microbial contamination, prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, and safety. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the microbiological quality and safety of ostrich meat samples (n = 55), each from one animal, produced in Bavaria, Germany. The provided microbiological status of ostrich meat included mesophilic aerobic bacteria, Enterobacteria, and mesophilic yeast and molds. In terms of food safety, all meat samples were negative for Salmonella spp. and Trichinella spp. Additionally, meat samples and a further 30 stool samples from 30 individuals were investigated for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli genes, with two meat samples that were qPCR-positive. Antimicrobial-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, Enterococcus faecalis, and Enterococcus faecium strains were from meat and stool samples also analyzed;13 potentially resistant Enterobacteriaceae (meat samples) and 4 Enterococcus faecium (stool samples) were isolated, and their susceptibility against 29 and 14 antimicrobials, respectively, was characterized. The results of this study provide an overview of microbial loads and food safety aspects that may be used as baseline data for the ostrich meat industry to improve their hygienic quality. However, the implementation of monitoring programs is recommended, and microbiological standards for ostrich meat production should be established.

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