The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has just reported on how much do
different meats contribute to salmonellosis in man and the authority has found
it very difficult to conclusively attribute the level from different meat
The EFSA wanted to carry out a quantitative risk assessment
along the food chain but were unable to do so due to lack of data and used
different methods such as expert opinions for estimating source attribution.
The authority appeared to agree that eggs and egg products were the most
frequently implicated sources but were not sure about the risk from poultry,
pork, beef and lamb.
There are some gaps in the data to break the risks
down along the food chain, but they have some data from the member states but to
different levels, however there is enough for an end-point assessment.
In one table there is a list of salmonella outbreaks
that have been related to meat and meat products (see Figure 1 and
Table 1) and poultry (chicken, turkey and ducks) are by far the highest
related source, with a 7.5 times increased risk ratio to pork. Beef and lamb are
apparently much lower risk than pork.
1. Comparison of salmonella outbreaks and consumption by meat type.
There is also another interesting
table on different meat consumption in 17 member states, and the mean figures
are also in Figure 1
and Table 1
. On average, almost twice as much pork is consumed in the EU in comparison
with chicken and beef and over 13 times more than lamb.Table
1. Comparison of salmonella outbreaks, consumption by meat type and risk
Risk ratio in relation to pork
Average consumption (kg/ person/ year)
Outbreaks/ kg consumed
Risk ratio outbreaks/ kg in relation to pork
If the number of outbreaks is divided by the kilogramme
of meat consumed and compared with pork at a risk ratio of one, then it can be
seen that on a kilogramme consumed per person per year basis, poultry meat is
14.2 times more likely to be associated with a salmonella outbreaks than pork
and even beef and lamb has a higher ratio.
This suggests that pork, in
fact, is one of the cleanest (salmonella-free) meats to consume but it is just
that we eat substantially more than the others in the EU.Raw minced
I know some countries eat raw minced pork, as a delicacy, and in the
UK we are renowned for our poorly cooked BBQ sausages, hence the rise in
incidence in the summer months but generally the meat is cooked and this should
destroy any infection.
This then emphasises the HACCP analysis that the
meat should not leave the slaughterer/ processor contaminated - and this, on any
risk analysis, should be applied to poultry meat, as a priority, for salmonella,
let alone campylobacter.
It was interesting that they quoted the
prevalence of broiler flock contamination with salmonella varying from 0 in
Sweden, 1.6% in Denmark, 7.5% in Netherlands, 15% in Germany to 41.2% in Spain,
58.2% in Poland and 68.2% in Hungary.
It is little wonder that poultry
meat presents such a high risk in comparison with pork.
Ref: The EFSA
(2008) 625, 1-32