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The shelf-life of 3 batches (Q1, Q2, Q3) of quail meat, were examined. Q1 were cut and seasoned with commercial olive oil, stoned green olive and sliced bacon. Q2 were divided into two subgroups: Q2.1 produced in the previously described conditions; Q2.2 seasoned also with rosemary. Quails were placed in lowdensity polystirene barrier trays and aerobically packaged. Q3 quails were boiled in salted hot water for 40 min, seasoned with myrtle leafs, placed in low density polyethylene bags and vacuum packaged. All samples were stored at +2 and +7°C. Analysis were conducted at 0, 3, 7, 9 and 14 days (T0, T3, T7, T9, and T14, respectively). For all the samples, pH measurement and microbial analysis [total viable count (TVC), Enterobacteriaceae, E. coli, Lactobacillus spp. (LAB), Pseudomonas spp., Brochothrix thermosphacta, coagulase-negative Staphylococci (CNS), Enterococcus spp., yeasts and moulds, Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes] were performed. Initial TVC levels of fresh quails (ca. 4 log CFU/g) were rather high and this may be due to the microbial population of the raw material. In Q1 and Q2.1 samples, TVC reached the value of 7 log, which is considered as the upper acceptability limit for fresh poultry meat (after T9 under storage at +2°C and after T7 at +7°C). In Q2.2 samples such limit was reached earlier, after T3. In Q3 samples, lower TVC levels were recorded and did not reach the above mentioned limit, not even at the end of storage. However, mean counts >5 log were reached, maybe because of a post-cooking cross-contamination. Salmonella spp. prevalence was 33% in Q1, Q2.1 and Q2.2 samples.
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