Microbiological quality and safety of zoo food

  • Richter E
  • Al-Sheddy I
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Abstract

Two types of commercial products for feeding zoo animals (a frozen meat product, referred to as zoo food, and a dry product, referred to as dry food) were microbiologically examined for spoilage organisms (aerobic, psychrotrophic, coliform, Escherichia coli, mold, and yeasts) and pathogens (Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter jejuni). Levels of microorganisms in frozen ground zoo food were compared with those in frozen ground beef and frozen ground turkey meat. The level of microbial contaminants in frozen ground zoo meat was found to be similar to that in frozen ground beef and higher than that in frozen ground turkey meat. Sixty percent of the frozen zoo meat samples were Salmonella positive, and all of the samples were L. monocytogenes positive. Dry zoo food was documented to have microbial levels lower than those in frozen zoo meat; the pathogen levels were less than 1/25 g of food. Defrosting zoo meat at 10, 25, and 37 degrees C for 24 h showed that 10 degrees C is the best temperature for defrosting frozen ground zoo meat loaves (length, 9 in. [22.8 cm]; radius, 2 in. [5.1 cm]) without affecting the microbiological quality or safety of the product.

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Authors

  • E. R. Richter

  • I. Al-Sheddy

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