Comparison of Meat Contamination in Chicken, Beef, and Pork Samples From Grocery Store and Fast-Food Restaurant Sources


  • Kartik Bhagat
  • Mouaz Imdakem
  • Lyam Lee
  • Navkiran Takhar


The mislabelling, adulteration and contamination of meat products are part of a growing
issue in the world of food safety. Due to the decreasing transparency behind the source,
production and packaging of meat, the industry is seeing an increase in negligence and poor food
safety practices that result in the sale of adulterated and contaminated meat to consumers. Our
research examined meat samples obtained from pig, beef and chicken products that were
purchased from fast-food restaurants and grocery stores. We isolated DNA and used a multiplex
PCR approach with primers from horse, chicken, goat, sheep, beef and pork. The PCR results
were then analyzed with gel electrophoresis where a comparison of fragment sizes was used to
determine the authenticity of the samples. We observed two cases of chicken contamination in
the beef and pig meat samples purchased from fast-food restaurants, whereas the grocery
store-purchased meat showed no signs of contamination. Therefore, our study found that grocery
store-sourced meat was more accurately labelled, likely due to better hygiene and less handling
by employees.