Microbiology/Meat Laboratory

The Microbiology/Meat laboratory section of the KDA Laboratory performs testing for the agency's Meat and Poultry Inspection program on two categories of samples; pathogen and routine.  Pathogen samples consist of raw meat, ready-to-eat meat products, poultry rinses, and environmental samples from production facilities.  These samples undergo microbiological testing for the presence of pathogens.  The pathogens currently include the following; Salmonella spp, Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli O157:H7, the big six non-O157 Shiga Toxin producing E. coli strains (STECs), and Campylobacter jejuni/coli/lari.  Fresh ground meat is tested for Salmonella spp and E. coli O157:H7.  Trim samples are tested for E. coli O157:H7 and STECs.  Poultry rinses are collected and analyzed for Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter jejuni/coli/lari

Ready-to-eat meat products, such as beef jerky and bologna, are tested for Salmonella spp and Listeria monocytogenes.  The environmental samples analyzed typically consist of swabs taken from various surfaces in meat processing facilities and are tested for Listeria monocytogenes.  Food testing capabilities are being added to this laboratory section under the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS) that are being implemented by the agency’s Food Safety and Lodging Inspection program

Routine samples are raw or ready-to-eat meat samples that are tested for fat, protein, and moisture content.  Results are compared to label guarantees and/or used to determine the moisture-to-protein ratio.  Also considered routine samples are kidney tissues that are tested for the presence of antibiotic residues.  The Meat/Microbiology laboratory also determines the amount of sodium nitrate in meat cures and verifies the components of meat branding inks.

All testing of meat samples is performed according to the US Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) Microbiology and Chemistry Laboratory Guidebooks.  The microbiologists use a BAX Q7 for most pathogen screening.  Confirmatory testing is performed using approved cultural, biochemical, and serological test methods.