Environmental Pollution ( IF 6.792 ) Pub Date : 2020-01-14 , DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.113950 M A M Mahmoud,R S Zaki,H H Abd-Elhafeez
The severe and pervasive effects of multispecies foodborne microbial biofilms highlight the importance of rapid detection and diagnosis of contamination risk in the field using epifluorescence-based techniques (EBT) combined with automatic image-counting software. This study screened the hygiene quality of the environment, a carcass and the slaughtering equipment in the El-Kharga abattoir, New Valley Province, Egypt, to assess possible contamination during slaughter. In addition, the formed biofilm was assessed, and the bacteria were enumerated by epifluorescence microscopy. Using both conventional and EBT, the highest bacterial counts were observed for the slaughtering equipment (6.6 and 5.2 cfu/cm2, respectively), followed by different parts of the carcass (4.1 and 4.4 cfu/cm2, respectively) and environmental samples (3.9 and 4.1 cfu/cm2, respectively). A high prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 was observed on the slaughtering equipment (25%), which also led to carcass (1%) contamination. Moreover, Enterobacteriaceae members were detected during examination, such as Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter aerogenes, and Raoultella ornithinolytica. Despite the relatively good hygiene quality of the abattoir environment, there is also a high risk associated with biofilm formation by pathogenic microorganisms on the slaughtering equipment. Moreover, EBT showed different structures of the biofilm, including those formed at different maturation stages, such as voids, microbubbles, channels and mushroom shapes. (EBT) microscopy could be used to efficiently, precisely and rapidly estimate microbial aggregation and exposure risk inside the abattoir among conventional techniques.