Meat & Livestock News

Beef Safety in European Imports: A Recent Study

TL;DR: European study finds imported beef mostly safe, though some samples exceed EU health standards.

A recent study highlights that beef imported into Europe is generally safe.

Detailed Examination

Between November 2021 and May 2022, researchers tested beef at Hamburg Harbor, Germany. Samples were sourced from Brazil (53), Argentina (33), Uruguay (12), and Paraguay (2). This study will feature in the June edition of the Food Control journal.


Tests revealed a 3% presence of E. coli, with one case over safe levels. Coagulase-positive staphylococci appeared in one sample but remained at dangerous levels. L. monocytogenes was found in three samples without exceeding safety thresholds. There was no detection of Salmonella spp., but 83% contained Enterobacteriaceae, with 40% above critical limits. STEC showed a 2% presence, suggesting possible hygiene concerns. Although pathogen levels were low, they did not entirely align with EU standards, indicating potential health risks.

EU Standards

The EU mandates that imported raw beef meets the same safety standards as domestic products.

Despite low levels of pathogens, the study suggests that hygiene improvements are necessary to fully comply with EU safety standards.