Salmonella Contamination of Swine Carcasses and Pork Products
This paper includes results from two separate studies: one surveyed the level of contamination at four points during the slaughter and processing of chilled pork; the second study surveyed ground pork from 17 companies representing five different segments of ground pork distribution. Regarding the carcass study, the highest percentage of Salmonella spp. isolated from the different sampling sites by a swab method, for both pork loin and ham surfaces, was 4.4% after the singeing step of the slaughter process. Overall, 1.7% of all pork samples showing positive isolations for Salmonella spp., however, there were no Salmonella spp. found in one of the three plants surveyed. Salmonella were isolated primarily from pork before fabrication and refrigerated storage. A continous reduction in the numbers of Salmonella spp. isolates was detected from the point of singeing to the point of fabrication. No Salmonella spp. were isolated from vacuumpackaged pork stored for 36 days at 2EC. The purpose of the ground pork project was to survey current sources of ground pork, and to determine the effects of different handling methods and raw material sources on the microbial quality of ground pork. There were no significant differences in the microbial counts, or prevalence of selected organisms, between the different types of companies from which the ground pork was obtained. Estimated variance among locations, samples and sample duplicates show that additional ground pork samples are needed to strengthen the results of this study.