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Sero- and genotyping of Salmonella in slaughter pigs, from farm to cutting plant, with a focus on the slaughter process

AuthorsArguello, Héctor; Carvajal, Ana ; Naharro, Germán; Arcos, Mario; Rodicio, M. Rosario; Martín, M. Cruz ; Rubio, Pedro
Issue DateJan-2013
CitationInternational Journal of Food Microbiology 161(1): 44-52 (2013)
AbstractThe objective of this study was to investigate the role of the slaughtering process in Salmonella carcass contamination by typing isolates recovered previously in a double study of the following: (1) a tracking survey from the farm to the slaughterhouse and (2) a survey of the slaughterhouse environment (i.e., lairage area, slaughter line, cutting plant and carcasses).The Salmonella serotypes identified on the carcasses of the 16 tracked batches were frequently linked to lairage, whereas the serotypes detected at the farm, transport or pig-related samples (i.e., caecum content and lymph nodes) were only occasionally detected at the carcass level. Multi-locus variable-number tandem repeats (MLVA) of 77 Salmonella enterica ser. Typhimurium isolates from seven of these batches confirmed the link between the isolates recovered from carcasses and holding pens. Only four of the 16 positive carcasses had profiles previously isolated from lymph nodes or caecal content.In the second part of the study, a total of 131 S. enterica ser. Typhimurium and 74 S. enterica ser. Derby isolates were further characterised by MLVA and Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE), respectively. The MLVA profiles identified in carcasses varied throughout the working day and were frequently linked to those identified in samples from the slaughter line points collected close in time. PFGE and MLVA profiles identified at lairage were also detected in later processing facilities (i.e., slaughter line and cutting plant) as well as in carcasses. Finally, most of the profiles found at the cutting plants were previously identified in the slaughter line or carcass samples. The results from this study show that Salmonella contamination in pigs entering the slaughterhouse can be attributed to several sources. Typing of isolates by MLVA and PFGE clarified the sources of carcass contamination and improved the accuracy of cross-contamination attributable values. Without obviating the relevant role of infected pigs entering the slaughterhouse, the present study highlights the lairage and slaughtering as important sources of carcass contamination. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2012.11.013
issn: 0168-1605
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