Decrease in US Salmonella contamination
Salmonella on US pig farms has been reduced dramatically, owing to research
Eight years ago, only 65% of pork for processing plants met the USDA's
minimum standards for Salmonella contamination.
Since then, work by a number of USDA agencies has helped to push the pass
rate beyond 90% in 2005.
Prevention is key to the stategy, according to the US Department of
One research encompassed a two-year period, in which samples were taken from
48 farms across five states. Also samples from pork-processing were sent for
Another study by the National Animal Disease Center (NADC) and Iowa State
University found that Salmonella infection in pigs waiting in pre-slaughter
holding pens shot up 40% from about 7% after just a few hours.
Another again found that normal, commensal bacteria in the pig intestinal
tract are not only reservoirs for microbial resistance, but are also, possibly,
places where this resistance evolves.
The researcher team hopes to be able to evaluate management strategies using
these results as a barometer.
"Ultimately, we want to produce a genetic profile of the Salmonella-carrier
pig," one of the researchers stated. This could lead to diagnostic tests for
resistance, thus possibly helping control reemergence of Salmonella.
Pathogens such as Salmonella can can spark off an expensive recall for a food
company, which would also have to deal with damage to its brand and the
subsequent loss of sales.
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