Carnobacterium divergens - a dominating bacterium of pork meat juice.
ABSTRACT Nonspoiled food that nevertheless contains bacterial pathogens constitutes a much more serious health problem than spoiled food, as the consumer is not warned beforehand. However, data on the diversity of bacterial species in meat juice are rare. To study the bacterial load of fresh pork from ten different distributors, we applied a combination of the conventional culture-based and molecular methods for detecting and quantifying the microbial spectrum of fresh pork meat juice samples. Altogether, we identified 23 bacterial species of ten different families analyzed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The majority of isolates were belonging to the typical spoilage bacterial population of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), Enterococcaceae, and Pseudomonadaceae. Several additional isolates were identified as Staphylococcus spp. and Bacillus spp. originating from human and animal skin and other environmental niches including plants, soil, and water. Carnobacterium divergens, a LAB contributing to the spoilage of raw meat even at refrigeration temperature, was the most frequently isolated species in our study (5/10) with a bacterial load of 10(3) - 10(7) CFU mL(-1). In several of the analyzed pork meat juice samples, two bacterial faecal indicators, Serratia grimesii and Serratia proteamaculans, were identified together with another opportunistic food-borne pathogen, Staphylococcus equorum. Our data reveal a high bacterial load of fresh pork meat supporting the potential health risk of meat juice for the end consumer even under refrigerated conditions.