Campylobacter jejuniprevalence and hygienic quality of retail bovine ground meat in Finland

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Detection of common genotypes of Campylobacter jejuni among Finnish human and bovine isolates, suggested that bovines may be a source for zoonotic Camp. jejuni infection. In addition, a Finnish epidemiological study implied the tasting and eating raw or undercooked beef as risk factors for acquiring campylobacteriosis. We therefore performed a study on the occurrence of Camp. jejuni in retail bovine ground meat in Helsinki by the use of both cultivation and PCR. During 2011 and 2012, 175 bovine ground meat samples were collected. None of the samples were Campylobacter positive by cultivation, and only one sample (0·6%) was Camp. jejuni positive by the use of PCR on template extracted directly from ground meat. According to our findings, Finnish bovine ground meat is an unlikely source for human campylobacteriosis. Additionally, the hygienic quality of bovine ground meat at retail level was screened and found to be good when monitored by aerobic micro-organisms, total thermotolerant coliforms and Eshericha coli.Significance and Impact of the Study: This study provides the first data on the occurrence of the zoonotic pathogen Campylobacter jejuni in Finnish bovine ground meat. This knowledge is important as part of future Campylobacter risk assessment, management and monitoring programs, particularly when assessing the relative attribution of poultry, pork and bovine meat to the burden of human campylobacteriosis. According to our results, Finnish bovine ground meat at retail level is of good hygienic quality.

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