The Slaughtering and Dressing Procedures of Livestock Inside the Butcher Shops Generate High Levels of Bacterial Contamination


Aerobic plate count, carcasses, contamination, hygiene conditions, selective medium.

How to Cite

Fawzi I. Irshaid, Jacob H. Jacob, & Saifaldeen I. Alhawamdeh. (2018). The Slaughtering and Dressing Procedures of Livestock Inside the Butcher Shops Generate High Levels of Bacterial Contamination. Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences, 14, 165–173.


Background and Objective: Raw meats from animal carcasses are most frequently contaminated with bacteria during the slaughtering and dressing process. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the bacterial quality of raw meat from lamb, goat and beef carcasses immediately after slaughtering at butcher shops in Al-Mafraq city-Jordan.
Materials and Methods: A total of 243 meat samples were aseptically cut from the hand, leg and back of carcasses at three butcher locations, designated as site-C (the central part of the city), site-N (the north side of the city) and site-S (the south side of the city). Samples were processed and then cultured on nutrient agar and xylose lysine deoxycholate (XLD) agar plates aerobically at 35 °C for 48 h for enumeration of bacteria and total Enterobacteriaceae count (TEC) by aerobic plate count (APC). APC and TEC were expressed as colony forming units per gram of meat (CFU/g).
Results: APC and TEC in the raw meats ranged from 11.6-28.1 X 106 CFU/g on nutrient agar and from 23-120 X 103 CFU/g on XLD agar medium. By meat type, the lamb had the highest APC and TEC, followed by beef. By location, the highest APC and TEC were shown in the C-Site, followed by the S-Site. There were significant differences between APC counts by location and meat type (P<0.05). APC and TEC at the legs of the tested carcasses were significantly higher than the hand and back regions (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: There were high levels of bacterial loads on raw meat carcasses during slaughtering and dressing process inside the butcher shops. The bacterial load exceeded the guideline set up by international studies and was influenced by location, meat type and part of the carcass. To improve the quality of locally produced raw meat, these findings emphasized the need to curb slaughtering animal inside the butcher shops.


Sans P, Combris P. World meat consumption patterns: An overview of the last fifty years (1961-2011). Meat Sci 2015; 109: 106-111. DOI: 10.1016/j.meatsci. 2015.05.012. PMID: 26117396.

Speedy AW. Global production and consumption of animal Source. Foods J Nutr 2003; 133: 4048S-4053.

Williams P. Nutritional composition of red meat. Nutr Diet 2007; 64: S113-S119.

Ukut IOE, Okonko I, Ikpoh I, Nkang A, Udeze A, Babalola T. Assessment of bacteriological quality of fresh meats sold in Calabar metropolis, Nigeria. E J E A F 2010; Chem., 9(1): 89-100. Available at publication/238658470

Jeon H, Kim J, Son J, Chae HS, Jin KS, Oh JH, Shin BW, Lee JH. Evaluation of the microbial contamination status and sanitation practice level in butcher's shops in Seoul. Korean J Vet Serv 2011; 34: 409-416. DOI: 10.7853/kjvs .2011.34.4.409.

Upadhyaya M, Poosaran N, Fries R. Prevalence and predictors of Salmonella spp. in retail meat shops in Kathmandu. J Agri Sci Technol, 2012; 2: 1094-1106. Available at MCRFileNodeServlet/FUDOCS_derivate.pdf

Manios SG, Grivokostopoulos NC, Bikoili VC, Doultsos DA, Zilelidou EA, Gialitako MA, Skandamis PN. A 3-year hygiene and safety monitoring of a meat processing plant which uses raw materials of global origin. Int J Food Microbiol 2015; 209: 60-69.

Abdissa R, Haile W, Fite AT, Beyi A. Prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in beef cattle at slaughter and beef carcasses at retail shops in Ethiopia. B.M.C. Infectious Diseases 2017; 17: 277-283.

Belluco S, Barco L, Roccato A, Ricci A. Variability of Escherichia coli and Enterobacteriaceae counts on pig carcasses: A systematic review. Food Control 2015; 55:115-126.

Sudhakar GB, Paturkar AM, Waskar VS, Zende RJ. Bacteriological screening and environmental sources of contamination in abattoir and the meat shops in Mumbai, India. Asian J Food & agro-Industry 2009; 2 (03): 280-290. Available online at

Fasanmi GO, Olukole SG, kehinde OO. Microbial studies of table scrapings from meat stalls in Ibadan Metropolis, Nigeria: Implications on meat hygiene. African J Biotechnol 2010; 9: 3158-3162. files/Microbial. pdf

RMAA. Red Meat Abattoir Association: Animal handling practical guidelines for abattoirs, 2011.

Grandin T. Factors that impede animal movement at slaughter plants. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996; 209:757-759.

Bhandare SG, Sherikarv AT, Paturkar AM, Waskar VS, Zende RJ. A comparison of microbial contamination of lamb/goat carcasses in a modern Indian abattoir and traditional meat shops. Food Control 2007; 18: 854-868.

Bopp CA, Brenner FW, Fields PI, Wells JG, Strockbine NA. Escherichia, Shigella, and Salmonella, pp. 654-671. In Murray PR, Baron EJ, Jorgensen JH, Pfaller MA, Yolken RH. Manual of clinical microbiology. 8th Ed. ASM Press, Washington, DC.

Iroha IR, Ugbo EC, Ilang DC, Oji AE, Ayogu TE. Bacterial contamination of raw meat sold in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state Nigeria. Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology 2011; 3: 49-53.

Omurtag I, Paulsen P, Hilbert F. The risk of transfer of food borne bacterial hazards in Turkey through the consumption of meat; risk ranking of muscle foods with the potential to transfer Campylobacter spp. Food Security 2013; 5: 117-127.

Rizvi M, Khan F, Raza A, Shukla I, Malik A, Rizvi S. Coryneforms: the opportunistic pathogens- an emerging challenge for immunocompetent individuals. American-Eurasian Journal of Scientific Research 2011; 6: 165-171.

Mead PS, Slutsker L, Dietz V, McCaig LF, Bresee JS, Shapiro C. Food-Related Illness and Death in the United States. Emerg Infect Dis 1999; 5(5): 607-625.

Duffy EA, Belk KE, Sofos JN, LeValley SB, Kain ML, Tatum JD, Smith GC, Kimberling CV. Microbial contamination occurring on lamb carcasses processed in the United States. J Food Prot 2001; 64 (4): 503-508.

Käferstein FK. Actions to reverse the upward curve of foodborne illness. Food Control 2003; 14 (2): 101-109.

Scallan E, Hoekstra RM, Angulo FJ, Tauxe RV, Widdowson MA, Roy SL. Foodborne illness acquired in the United States— major pathogens. Emerg Infect Dis 2011; 1: 17:7-15.

Buzby JC. Older adults at risk of complications from microbial foodborne illness. Food Rev. 2002; 25: 30-35.

Havelaar AH, Kirk MD, Torgerson PR, et al. World Health Organization global estimates and regional comparisons of the burden of foodborne disease in 2010. PLoS Med 2015; 12(12):e1001923.

Bhandari N, Nepali DB, Paudyal S. Assessment of bacterial load in broiler chicken meat from the retail meat shops in Chitwan, Nepal. International Journal of Infection and Microbiology 2013; 2: 99-104.

Kim J, Yim DG. Assessment of the microbial level for livestock products in retail meat shops implementing HACCP system. Korean J Food Sci An 2016; 36(5): 594-600.

Lee JY, Paik JK, Hwang HS, Lee JE, Shin WS, Kim HW, Paik HD, Hong WS. Survey of hygienic condition and management of meat markets in Seoul and Gyeong-Gi area, Korea. Korean J Food Sci Ani Resour 2010; 30: 336-344.

Tafesse F, Desse G, Bacha K, Alemayehu H. Microbiological quality and safety of street vended raw meat in Jijiga town of Somali Regional State, southeast Ethiopia. African Journal of Microbiology Research 2014; 8(48): 3867-3874. DOI: 10.5897/AJMR2014.7136.

Ministry of Agriculture, Jordan: report of the status of agriculture in 2009. Retrieved in 2018-01-12. Available from

Diane R, Melody G. Practical Food Microbiology. 3rd Ed. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. UK 2003; pp. 91-243.

Oh YS, Lee SH. Hygienic quality of beef and distribution of pathogens during cut-meat processing. J Food Hyg Safety 2001; 16: 96-102.

Haque MA, Siddique MP, Habib MA, Sarkar V, Chou KA. Evaluation of sanitary quality of goat meat obtained from slaughter yards and meat stalls at late market hours. Bangl J Vet Med 2008; 6(1): 87-92.

Hassan E, Ferage M, Nahla T. Lactic acid and pH as indication for bacterial spoilage of meat and some meat products. Journal of Applied Sciences Research 2006; 2: 522-528.

Haileselassie M, Taddele H, Adhana K, Kalayou S. Food safety knowledge and practices of abattoir and butchery shops and the microbial profile of meat in Mekelle City, Ethiopia Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2013; 3: 407-412.

Gurmu EB, Gebretinsae H. Assessment of bacteriological quality of meat cutting surfaces in selected butcher shops of Mekelle city, Ethiopia. J Environ Occup Sci 2013; 2, 61-66.

Martineli TM, Rossi ODJ, Cereser ND, Cardozo MV, Fontoura CL, Perri SHV. Microbiological counting in lamb carcasses from an abattoir in São Paulo, Brazil. Ciência Rural 2009; 39(6): 1836-1841.

ICMSF, 1986. Microorganism in foods 2. Samples for microbiological analysis: principles and specific applications. 2nd Ed. Recommendation of the International Commission on Microbiological Specification for Foods. Association of Microbiological Societies. Toronto, University of Toronto Press. Available at

Mukhopadhyay HK, Pillai RM, Pal UK, Kumar VJA. Microbial quality of fresh chevon and beef in retail outlets of Pondicherry. Tamil Nadu Journal of Veterinary and Animal Science 2009; 5: 33-36.

Li JW, Shi XQ, Chao F H, Wang XW, Zheng JL, Nong S. A study on detecting and identifying enteric pathogens with PCR. Biomedical and Environ Sc 2004; 17: 109-120. Available at pdf

Zajc-Satler J, Gragas AZ. Xylose lysine deoxycholate agar for the isolation of Salmonella and Shigella from clinical specimens. Zentralbl Bakteriol 1977; 237: 196-200. PMID: 848209.

Nye KJ, Fallon D, Frodsham D, Gee B, Graham C, Howe S, Messer S, Turner T, Warren RE. An evaluation of the performance of XLD, DCA, MLCB, and ABC agars as direct plating media for the isolation of Salmonella enterica from faeces. J Clin Pathol 2002; 55: 286-288.

Niyogi SK. Shigellosis. J Microbiol 2005; 43: 133-143.

Kumar A, Singh SK, Bajpai D. Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of Shigella spp. with reference to its virulence genes and antibiogram analysis from river Narmada. Microbiol Res 2010; 165: 33-42.

Lambrechts AA, Human IS, Doughari JH, Lues JFR. Bacterial contamination of the hands of food handlers as indicator of hand washing efficacy in some convenient food industries in South Africa. Pak J Med Sci 2014; 30(4): 755-758. PMCID: PMC4121692

Choi YM, Park HJ, Jang HI, Kim SA, Imm JY, Hwang IG, Rhee MS. Changes in microbial contamination levels of porcine carcasses and fresh pork in slaughterhouses, processing lines, retail outlets, and local markets by commercial distribution. Res Vet Sci 2013; 94: 413-418. DOI: 10.1016/j.rvsc. 2012.11.015.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2018 Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences