Salmonella in pigs at slaughter evaluated

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(, December 23, 2008)






PARMA, ITALY – The European Food Safety Authority’s Task Force on Zoonoses Data Collection published an analysis of the risk factors related to Salmonella in slaughter pigs within the European Union on Dec. 22. While the results reveal that Salmonella-infected pigs were more likely to lead to Salmonella-contaminated carcasses, these could also come from uninfected pigs. What’s more, the Salmonella carcass contamination was more likely to happen in some slaughterhouses compared to others.

Results from this report will serve as a scientific basis to assist Member E.U. States to define the best control measures for reaching the Salmonella reduction targets to be defined by the European Commission.

As a result of the study, E.F.S.A.’s Task Force recommended that Member States and the E.U. pig industry pay attention to preventing Salmonella spread within slaughterhouses since they have proven to have an important role in the contamination of pig meat.

Control measures at the pig-farm level are also necessary for reducing Salmonella occurrence in pigs and pig meat, and that consideration should be given to integrated control programs covering both farms and slaughterhouses, the Task Force noted.

Some similarities between the Salmonella types most frequently reported in humans and those found in slaughter pigs were revealed in the analysis, indicating that pigs and pig meat do contribute to Salmonella infections in humans, though other animal species and food can also be a source for human infection.

Factors related to Salmonella infections were found to vary considerably between countries.

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