Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has published a report designed to address knowledge gaps around the microbial quality of beef mince sold in Scotland. The report details the results of a survey conducted in 2019 on 1,009 samples of beef mince on retail sale across the country. The survey had three main objectives:
- to determine the overall presence of three significant microbiological pathogens and two process hygiene indicators in Scottish beef mince
- to identify levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in microbes found in beef mince sold in Scotland
- to identify any differences, such as seasonal or geographic, associated with increased likelihood of microbial contamination
The survey found contamination levels of Campylobacter at 0.1%, Salmonella at 0.3%, and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) at 3.5% in the products tested. FSS report that the levels of microbiological quality were encouraging, and in line with similar studies in other countries in the past. The study also identified no significant differences between confirmed STEC and all tested factors, such as season, geographical location, or retailer type.
Source: FSS, 14 June 2021