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Studies Have Found that 70% of Brazil Beef Plants Tested Positive for Bacteria

According to the results of the study, 9 of 13 beef plants sampled in Brazil were found to be contaminated with Listeria strains.

A study published in the journal Microorganisms analyzed fifty beef samples from beef plants in Mato Grosso, Brazil, the largest beef producer, and exporter.

Currently, more than 70 countries import fresh beef from Brazil, including Asia, the Netherlands, Italy, and Eastern Europe, while the US has banned imports of fresh beef from that country.


The study, conducted over a six-month period, sampled 50 cuts of beef, and researchers isolated Listeria spp. In 18 samples and Listeria monocytogenes in six of them.

While the researchers found a 12% prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes, the presence of Listeria spp. was three times higher.

Microbiologists often use the detection of Listeria spp. As an indication for the presence of L. monocytogenes. “These findings are of concern because they show that these positive plants are also suitable for the growth of Listeria monocytogenes,” said the research team.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, foods contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes lead to a serious infection called Listeriosis that could prove fatal.

Disinfectant and antibiotic-resistant strains

Most isolated samples responded to antibiotic treatment, although some strains isolated from different plants showed high resistance to sulfonamides, cefoxitin, and cefepime.

Also, the two strains showed a high rate of resistance to sodium hypochlorite – one of the most commonly used disinfectants in industry and production farms.


According to the research team, the beef industry should implement stricter cleaning and disinfection measures to avoid a pandemic situation.

“This situation poses a risk not only to the Brazilian population but also to the populations of countries that import beef from these processors,” the researchers said.

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