Impact of slaughterhygiene of individual slaughterhouses on Salmonella consumer risk from pork
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The SafePork conference series began in 1996 to bring together international researchers, industry, and government agencies to discuss current Salmonella research and identify research needs pertaining to both pig and pork production. In subsequent years topics of research presented at these conferences expanded to include other chemical and biological hazards to pig and pork production.
Salmonella is widespread in all levels of Danish swine production. Faecal contamination of carcasses at the slaughterhouse is inevitable but the magnitude will depend both on number of infected animals and the level of slaughter hygiene. We have investigated a total of 2880 pigs at four different slaughterhouses for quantitative occurrence of Salmonella in intestinal content and on the carcass before cooling. For a subset of the animals (n=1920) also E. coli were quantified in both sampling sites. The input of Salmonella faeces in pigs varied between slaughterhouses, while no difference in E. coli in faeces input was observed. However the carcass contamination varied significantly between slaughterhouses thus indicating differences slaughter hygiene. By establishing a model which quantifies the faecal contamination of the carcasses for each slaughterhouse it has been possible to estimate the Salmonella output on carcasses, which was attributed to slaughter hygiene and not biased by differences in Salmonella status of the incoming animals. By use of a risk model, developed in the project, it as possible to quantity the impact of slaughter hygiene on consumer risk for each slaughterhouse.