Handling of chronic cases of pyaemia/osteomyelitis in finishing pigs in Denmark – is de-boning necessary to maintain food safety?

Date
2015-01-01
Authors
Bækbo, A.
Petersen, J.
Larsen, M.
Alban, L.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Altmetrics
Authors
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Series
Abstract

Meat inspection is up for debate and one issue deals with how to handle chronic cases of pyaemia/ osteomyelitis in finishing pigs. In Denmark, such carcasses are required to be de-boned to avoid presence of osteomyelitis not found in the rework area. Around 40,000 pigs (0.24%) are subjected to de-boning in Denmark per year, and the associated costs amount to approx. €3 million. The questions are: 1) is the meat from such pigs fit for human consumption? 2) Is de-boning necessary, or do the meat inspectors find what they should in the rework area? And 3) which alternative practices could replace de-boning? To address this, data covering 1 year were extracted from the Danish Slaughterhouse Database including information from the 7 largest Danish abattoirs. Registration schemes covering findings during de-boning and the result of de-boning (approved/ condemned) were provided by the individual abattoirs. Additionally, a questionnaire survey was undertaken regarding the de-boning personals’ experience related to de-boning. Furthermore, samples from 102 pigs sent for de-boning at one slaughterhouse were collected. These samples included abscesses found in pigs at the rework area plus one muscle sample per pig. All samples underwent microbiological investigation. As a control group, microbiological results obtained from a similar study from carcasses unconditionally approved at meat inspection were included. Staphylococcus aureus, which has the potential to cause human illness, was found in 15 abscesses and 1 muscle of the 102 pigs sent for de-boning. S. aureus was also found in 1 of the 60 control samples. The results were included in a risk assessment that revealed the same very low health risk related to consumption of meat from de-boned pigs as from fully accepted pigs. Abscesses were found at de-boning in a low proportion of the pigs, at different sites of the carcass, varying between abattoirs. The vast majority of pigs sent for de-boning were accepted after de-boning (99.7%). If routine de-boning is no longer required, then focus on a thorough inspection at the rework-area will most likely result in a higher probability of finding abscesses at that stage of inspection. Moreover, overlooked abscesses will be found during cutting. Therefore de-boning is not considered necessary and could be replaced by condemnation of the affected part(s) only.

Description
Keywords
Citation
Source