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News 729 views last update:Apr 25, 2007

Study into Salmonella in pigs

The EU's food safety agency EFSA is going to investigate the public health risks posed by the presence of Salmonella in pigs.

The research by the European food safety authority could be used as the basis to create further EU safety restrictions on pigmeat processors in an attempt to reduce Salmonella infections.


Outsourcing
EFSA announced to outsource part of the task to a consortium of European institutes to take advantage of their expertise in this field and to ensure a balanced perspective.


The work will support risk managers in taking measures to tackle the bacteria, infecting many EU citizens each year, mainly due to contaminated food.


A study found there were almost 200,000 reported cases of salmonellosis reported during 2004 in the EU's 25 member states.


Risk factors
The core outsourced work will consist of a quantitative microbiological risk assessment (QMRA), which should provide a quantitative estimate of the existing risk factors and likely effects of proposed measures to reduce them.


Analyses will include:


• an assessment of the sources of infection for slaughter pigs at farm level;


• the impact of slaughter processes on contamination of pig carcasses;


• the expected effect of reducing Salmonella in slaughter pigs on Salmonella prevalence in pigmeat and Salmonella food poisoning cases in people.


At the moment, legislation in the European Union covers the control of Salmonella and other food-borne agents and set EU-wide reduction targets.


Related website:
• European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)


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