This research project aims to establish a practical protocol for detection of campylobacter in red meat production and suggest practical improvements for quantifying it.
<p>Campylobacter is frequently isolated from cattle, sheep and pig faeces as well as poultry.
<p>Data relating to the detection of the organism on red meat carcasses or from red meat is both limited and variable in comparison to data from poultry.
<p>In addition, Agency projects attempting to reduce levels of campylobacter in poultry are hampered by the inaccuracy of current methods for counting campylobacter.
An evaluation of sampling and recovery techniques for campylobacter from red meat carcasses, cuts and associated environmental samples will be undertaken to establish practical protocols that could be used in the food production environment.
<p>The suitability of the draft International Organization for Standardization (ISO) culture procedure for detection of low numbers of thermotolerant Campylobacter spp. (C. jejuni, C. coli and C. lari) in red meat carcasses, cuts and associated environmental samples will be investigated.
<p>Critical factors will be identified with the aim of improving the recovery and performance.
<p>The effect on recovery and isolation rates of incorporating an immunomagnetic separation (IMS) step into the optimised campylobacter method will then be investigated.
<p>An evaluation of enumeration procedures for the accurate quantification of campylobacter from poultry and, if appropriate, red meat and associated samples will be undertaken in an attempt to improve the current draft ISO procedure.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food
Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.