ISO 17604:2015 specifies sampling methods for the detection and enumeration of microorganisms on the surface of carcasses or parts of carcasses of slaughtered meat animals. The microbiological sampling can be carried out as part of
- process hygiene control (to validate and or verify process control, e.g. total counts and Enterobacteriaceae) in slaughter establishments for large mammals, poultry, and game,
- risk-based assurance systems for product safety, and
- monitoring or surveillance programmes for the prevalence and/or numbers of pathogenic microorganisms.
This International Standard includes the use of excision and swabbing techniques depending on the reason for sample collection. It also includes the use of carcass rinsing for the examination of carcasses of poultry and some small animals. Annex A shows sampling sites on the carcasses of various animal species.