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See detailExpert Judgement in a risk assessment model for Salmonella spp. in pork : on the performance of different weighting schemes.
Boone, Ides; Van der Stede, Yves; Bollaerts, Kaatje et al

in Preventive Veterinary Medicine (2009), 92

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See detailSalmonella surveillance and control at post harvest in the Belgian pork meat chain.
Delhalle, Laurent ULg; Saegerman, Claude ULg; Farnir, Frédéric ULg et al

in Food Microbiology (2009), 26

Salmonella remains the primary cause of reported bacterial food borne disease outbreaks in Belgium. Pork and pork products are recognized as one of the major sources of human salmonellosis. In contrast ... [more ▼]

Salmonella remains the primary cause of reported bacterial food borne disease outbreaks in Belgium. Pork and pork products are recognized as one of the major sources of human salmonellosis. In contrast with the primary production and slaughterhouse phases of the pork meat production chain, only a few studies have focussed on the post-harvest stages. The goal of this study was to evaluate Salmonella and Escherichia coli contamination at the Belgian post-harvest stages. E. coli counts were estimated in order to evaluate the levels of faecal contamination. The results of bacteriological analysis from seven cutting plants, four meat-mincing plants and the four largest Belgian retailers were collected from official and self-monitoring controls. The prevalence of Salmonella in the cutting plants and meat-mincing plants ranged from 0% to 50%. The most frequently isolated serotype was Salmonella typhimurium. The prevalence in minced meat at retail level ranged from 0.3% to 4.3%. The levels of Salmonella contamination estimated from semi-quantitative analysis of data relating to carcasses, cuts of meat and minced meat were equal to 3.40 2.04 log CFU/cm2, 2.64 1.76 log CFU/g and 2.35 1.09 log CFU/g, respectively. The E. coli results in meat cuts and minced meat ranged from 0.21 0.50 to 1.23 0.89 log CFU/g and from 1.33 0.58 to 2.78 0.43 log CFU/g, respectively. The results showed that faecal contamination still needs to be reduced, especially in specific individual plants. [less ▲]

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See detailLes Salmonelles au niveau de la production primaire de porcs.
Korsak Koulagenko, Nicolas ULg; Delhalle, Laurent ULg; Daube, Georges ULg

Article for general public (2008)

La problématique des Salmonella spp. en filière animale, quelle que soit la spéculation envisagée, apparaît simple. De nombreux guides et ouvrages y ont été consacrés et, en théorie, il semble aisé de ... [more ▼]

La problématique des Salmonella spp. en filière animale, quelle que soit la spéculation envisagée, apparaît simple. De nombreux guides et ouvrages y ont été consacrés et, en théorie, il semble aisé de s’en débarrasser ou d’empêcher son introduction dans un élevage ou dans un atelier d’engraissement. En pratique, toutefois, la situation est différente et il est constaté que le micro-organisme peut contaminer la chaîne alimentaire en de multiples endroits, que ce soit au stade de la production primaire, dans le secteur abattage et transformation ou bien chez le consommateur. Pour arriver à développer une filière porcine « Salmonella-free », il faut une collaboration complète de tous les acteurs d’une filière, ce qui signifie qu’elle doit être intense et soutenue dans le temps. [less ▲]

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See detailSalmonella dans la filière porcine : de l'abattoir au consommateur
Delhalle, Laurent ULg; Korsak Koulagenko, Nicolas ULg; Daube, Georges ULg

Article for general public (2008)

Suite aux accords internationaux et à la modification de la législation européenne, l’analyse de risque est devenue une démarche systématique pour la maîtrise de la sécurité de la chaîne alimentaire ... [more ▼]

Suite aux accords internationaux et à la modification de la législation européenne, l’analyse de risque est devenue une démarche systématique pour la maîtrise de la sécurité de la chaîne alimentaire. L’analyse de risque permet de donner des réponses concrètes aux responsables de la santé, aux vétérinaires et aux industriels. Cette discipline permet de déterminer le risque pour une population donnée face à un danger, d’estimer le nombre de cas liés suite à l’ingestion d’une denrée contaminée, de simuler les conséquences d’un accident dans la chaîne alimentaire et de présenter les mesures de prévention efficaces. Elle permet également de proposer des scénarii possibles afin de réduire le nombre de cas et les coûts associés, d’évaluer l’effet de l’implémentation de mesures de gestion comme des critères de performance (par exemple des niveaux admissibles de contamination microbienne) ou des critères de traitement (par exemple une durée ou une température à une étape donnée), etc. L’analyse de risque peut être un guide quantitatif utile pour les prises de décision si elle s'appuie sur des études scientifiques solides et si elle est complétée par des décisions industrielles, sociales et politiques qui prennent en compte les limites de cette méthode. Actuellement, le Département des Sciences des Denrées alimentaires de la Faculté Vétérinaire de l’Université de Liège associés avec d’autres partenaires réalisent une évaluation quantitative de risque concernant Salmonella dans la filière porcine (projet METZOON). Le modèle développé simule la contamination par Salmonella de l’ensemble de la filière à partir de l’élevage de porc jusqu’à la consommation de la viande par la population. Le modèle fait appel aux résultats des plans de surveillance de l’AFSCA et à l’ensemble des études réalisées en Belgique sur les salmonelles dans la filière porcine. Plusieurs industriels ont également collaboré à cette étude. Le but est d’identifier les actions ayant le plus d’efficacité pour réduire la contamination de la chaîne alimentaire. En conclusion, le nombre de salmonelloses humaines a diminué ces dernières années en Belgique. L’implémentation des méthodes HACCP et des bonnes pratiques d’hygiène dans l’industrie, une meilleure surveillance des aliments par les autorités publiques, les campagnes de vaccination des poules pondeuses en production primaire sont les raisons essentielles de la diminution. Mais l’ensemble des acteurs de la filière doivent être conscients de leur responsabilité dans le but d’obtenir une viande indemne de salmonelles. Les bonnes pratiques de fabrication doivent être respectées tout au long de la chaîne de production, en accord avec les principes HACCP, avec des contrôles fréquents sur tous les points critiques. Une traçabilité complète de l’origine de la viande ou des produits de viande est nécessaire pour permettre aux autorités publiques et aux épidémiologistes d’établir l’origine d’épidémies et ainsi réagir au plus vite. Ce n’est qu’avec une collaboration continue de tous les acteurs que nous pourrons produire une viande sans salmonelles. [less ▲]

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See detailReducing human salmonellosis in Belgium from minced pork meat with quantitative risk assessment scenarios
Delhalle, Laurent ULg; Bollaerts, K.; Messens, W. et al

Poster (2008, May)

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See detailA structured expert judgement study on Salmonella spp. in pork: analyses of different weighting schemes.
Boone, Idesbald; Van der Stede, Y.; Bollaerts, K. et al

Poster (2008, March)

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See detailDetection and quantification of human and bovine novoviruses by a TaqMan RT-PCR assay with a control for inhibition.
Scipioni, Alexandra ULg; Bourgot, Isabelle; Mauroy, Axel ULg et al

in Molecular and Cellular Probes (2008), 22

Noroviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses belonging to the family Caliciviridae. They are a major cause of epidemic and sporadic gastroenteritis in humans and calves. Reverse transcription-polymerase ... [more ▼]

Noroviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses belonging to the family Caliciviridae. They are a major cause of epidemic and sporadic gastroenteritis in humans and calves. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) has become the ‘‘gold standard’’ for detection of noroviruses in faecal and environmental samples. However, false negative results due to co-concentration of RT-PCR inhibitors are a continuous concern. A TaqMan real-time RT-PCR assay making use of a foreign internal RNA control and a RNA standard was developed. Very interestingly, this method is capable of detecting human noroviruses belonging to genogroups I and II, and bovine noroviruses belonging to genogroup III. Inhibitors were removed efficiently by 1/10 dilution of the sample or addition of bovine serum albumin to the RT-PCR mix. This assay was validated with human and bovine stool samples previously tested for norovirus by conventional RT-PCR. The ability to detect norovirus in stool samples that were negative by conventional RT-PCR assay demonstrate the higher sensitivity of the TaqMan assay compared to the conventional RT-PCR assay. This real-time RT-PCR assay allows the detection of both human and bovine noroviruses, avoids false negative results and is able to quantify the level of norovirus contamination. [less ▲]

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See detailBifidobacteria as indicators of faecal contamination along a sheep meat production chain
Delcenserie, Véronique ULg; Loncaric, D.; Bonaparte, Christine et al

in Journal of Applied Microbiology (2008), 104(1), 276-284

Aims: The potential use of bifidobacteria as indicators for faecal contamination was studied along a sheep meat production and processing chain. The levels of bifidobacteria were compared with those of ... [more ▼]

Aims: The potential use of bifidobacteria as indicators for faecal contamination was studied along a sheep meat production and processing chain. The levels of bifidobacteria were compared with those of Escherichia coli. Total viable counts were followed along the chain (244 samples). Methods and Results: Forty-three per cent of the samples contained bifidobacteria, of which 15% were solely detected using a PCR method based on the hsp60 gene and not by a culture-based method. Bifidobacteria were detected in only three of nine sheep faeces samples using one or the other method. However, carcasses (types C and E) were highly contaminated. These sample types (30% and 28%, respectively) were positive for bifidobacteria and negative for E. coli. The species Bifidobacterium pseudolongum and Bif. thermophilum, isolated from faecal samples, were predominant. Bifidobacterium choerinum were found in C, D, E and F sample types. Conclusions: Bifidobacteria were shown more efficient than E. coli in carcasses samples. The presence of Bif. choerinum suggested a faecal pork contamination. Significance and Impact of the Study: Detection and identification of bifidobacteria, in correlation with E. coli counting, should improve hygiene quality of mutton processing chains. [less ▲]

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See detailDetection of Neospora caninum in dog organs using real time PCR systems.
Ghalmi, F.; Losson, Bertrand ULg; Daube, Georges ULg et al

in Veterinary Parasitology (2008), 155

Neospora caninum is a parasite responsible for paresis in dogs. The dog can harbour enkysted parasites in several organs. The detection of N. caninum was performed using 3 different real time PCR systems ... [more ▼]

Neospora caninum is a parasite responsible for paresis in dogs. The dog can harbour enkysted parasites in several organs. The detection of N. caninum was performed using 3 different real time PCR systems all amplifying the NC5 DNA region. One system was based on Sybr1green, one on PlexorTM technology and the last on Taqman1 probe. Comparison of the three methods indicated that the detection limit was 1 equivalent genome on pure DNA but that this detection limit increased in the presence of foreign DNA using the Sybrgreen and Plexor systems. Therefore, the Taqman system was chosen to detect N. caninum in liver and spleen of naturally infected dogs. The overall prevalence was 32.2%. Comparison between PCR results and serological results using IFAT showed that among the 28 PCR positive dogs only 9 were seropositive and that 8 seropositive dogs were PCR negative. Therefore serology can underestimate the real carriage in dogs. However, PCR methods must be improved in terms of sensitivity and inhibition problems. [less ▲]

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See detailBotulisme bij melkvee : voedselveiligheidsaspecten en maatregelen.
Van Huffel, X.; Cardoen, S.; Imberechts, H. et al

in Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift (2008), 78

aar aanleiding van enkele uitbraken van botulisme bij melkvee in België gedurende de laatste jaren worden in dit artikel de voedselveiligheidsaspecten die daaraan verbonden zijn nader besproken evenals de ... [more ▼]

aar aanleiding van enkele uitbraken van botulisme bij melkvee in België gedurende de laatste jaren worden in dit artikel de voedselveiligheidsaspecten die daaraan verbonden zijn nader besproken evenals de maatregelen die kunnen genomen worden op het melkveebedrijf en in de voedselketen ter vrijwaring van de blootstelling van de consument aan eventuele gezondheidsrisico’s. Uit een kwalitatieve risicoevaluatieis gebleken dat het risico op overdracht van botulismetoxinen via verwerkte melk naar de consument zeer laag is. De fecale contaminatie van de uier en melk door Clostridium botulinum sporen kan in geval van type B daarentegen een risico op de ontwikkeling van botulisme bij gevoelige mensen vormen. Bovendien kunnen in rauwe en laag verhitte melk- en zuivelproducten toxinen worden geproduceerd na de ontkieming van deze sporen. [less ▲]

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See detailHygiene indicator microorganisms for selected pathogens on beef, pork and poultry meats in Belgium.
Ghafir, Y.; China, B.; Dierick, K. et al

in Journal of Food Protection (2008), 71

Several bacterial indicators are used to evaluate the hygiene of the meat slaughtering process. The objectives of this study were to assess the Belgian baseline of hygienic indicators and the relationship ... [more ▼]

Several bacterial indicators are used to evaluate the hygiene of the meat slaughtering process. The objectives of this study were to assess the Belgian baseline of hygienic indicators and the relationship between the indicators and zoonotic agents, in order to establish hygiene indicator criteria for carcasses and meat of beef, pork and poultry. The study used the results from the official Belgian surveillance plan from 2000 to 2003, which included the monitoring of counts for E. coli (ECC), Enterobacteriaceae (EC), aerobic colonies (ACC) and Pseudomonas. The sampling method was the wet and dry swabbing technique for beef and pork carcasses, and neck skin excision for chicken and layer carcasses. The 75th and 95th percentiles of ECC were –0.20 and 0.95 log cfu/cm2 for beef carcasses, 1.20 and 2.32 log cfu/cm2 for pork carcasses, and 4.05 and 5.24 log cfu/g for chicken carcasses. The aerobic colony counts were between 2.1 and 4.5 log cfu/cm2 or /g higher than those of ECC for cattle, pork and poultry. For beef and pork carcasses, a significant correlation between ECC, EC and ACC was shown between each parameter. ECC (for pork and beef samples), and EC (in pork carcasses) were detected at significantly higher levels in samples contaminated with Salmonella. In poultry samples, ECC were in general higher for samples containing Salmonella or Campylobacter. This study showed that E. coli may be considered as a good indicator for enteric zoonotic agents such as Salmonella for beef, pork and poultry, and Campylobacter in poultry meat samples. [less ▲]

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See detailComparison between swabbing and destructive methods for microbiological pig carcass sampling.
Ghafir, Yasmine; Daube, Georges ULg

in Letters in Applied Microbiology (2008), 47

Aims: To compare the Belgian swabbing sampling method for pig carcasses with the reference destructive method with regard to Escherichia coli and aerobic plate counts, Salmonella and Campylobacter ... [more ▼]

Aims: To compare the Belgian swabbing sampling method for pig carcasses with the reference destructive method with regard to Escherichia coli and aerobic plate counts, Salmonella and Campylobacter prevalence and their relationship. Methods and Results: Recovery was significantly lower for the swabbing method and corresponded to a recovery of 36% for E. coli counts and 81% for aerobic plate counts in comparison with the destructive method. There was no significant difference between the swabbing and destructive sampling methods for the prevalence of Salmonella or Campylobacter. A higher median for E. coli counts was detected for samples where Salmonella or Campylobacter were detected. The same association was also observed between the median for aerobic plate counts and the presence of Campylobacter. Conclusions: The method of swabbing used, covering 600 cm2 on each half-pig carcass, is efficient for the sampling of pig carcasses in comparison with the reference destructive method. Significance and Impact of the Study: This study describes an efficient method for microbiological pig carcass sampling. The Belgian swabbing method should continue to be used to allow the follow up of bacterial contamination in the Belgian meat production chain. [less ▲]

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See detailL'évaluation quantitative du risque microbiologique: revue de trois modèles liés à Salmonella dans les aliments.
Delhalle, Laurent ULg; Saegerman, Claude ULg; Farnir, Frédéric ULg et al

in Annales de Médecine Vétérinaire (2008), 152

Following international agreements and european legislation, risk analysis has become a systematic approach to control the food chain safety. The microbial risks in the food chain and their consequences ... [more ▼]

Following international agreements and european legislation, risk analysis has become a systematic approach to control the food chain safety. The microbial risks in the food chain and their consequences for public health can be assessed and managed more effectively. This paper gives a general description of the risk analysis principles based on the Codex Alimentarius commission. This work highlights the advantages and disadvantages of risk analysis and also treats the problems to achieve a complete “farm to fork” model. Salmonella in different food types is taken as an example to illustrate quantitative risk assessment. Two models concerning eggs and broiler chickens developed by the World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization consortium and a third model concerning pigs developed by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency of the United Kingdom are described. An analysis of the methods used for the construction of these two models is also presented. The interest of these three models is that they also include risk management options to limit the spread of food-borne infections. They also describe the final risk for a population following consumption of foodstuffs. These models are valuable tools for health officials but also for feed industry. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude de la variabilité de la qualité de la viande de porc par analyse en composantes principales
Leroy, Bernadette ULg; Etienne, Grégory; China, Bernard et al

in Sciences des Aliments (2008), 28(6), 451-468

Study of the variability of pork quality by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed to study the relationships between technological, organoleptic ... [more ▼]

Study of the variability of pork quality by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed to study the relationships between technological, organoleptic, microbiological and zootechnic variables, measured on 264 pigs belonging to different Belgian production systems. The four first principal components explained 63 % of the total variability. The variables such as the pH, the electrical conductivity, the brightness and the color of meat presented the best correlation with the first principal component whereas the variables such as the E. coli Count and the Total Viable Count measured on the carcass, the hot carcass weight and the cooking loss of meat presented the best correlation with the second principal component. The first principal component was defined as an axis of technological and organoleptic quality whereas the second was defined as a microbiological axis. PCA allowed to differentiate two groups in terms of technological and organoleptic properties. A group including samples belonged to the first quality production chain and a part of samples belonged to the second was separated from the principal group by a lower pH, measured 45 minutes post mortem, and a paler meat. [less ▲]

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See detailRisk factors for Salmonella and hygiene indicators in the 10 largest Belgian pig slaughterhouses.
Delhalle, Laurent ULg; Desadeleer, L.; Bollaerts, Kaatje et al

in Journal of Food Protection (2008), 77

A survey was conducted to collect data on Salmonella prevalence, Escherichia coli counts (ECCs), and aerobic bacteria colony counts (ACCs) on pig carcasses after chilling at the 10 largest Belgian pig ... [more ▼]

A survey was conducted to collect data on Salmonella prevalence, Escherichia coli counts (ECCs), and aerobic bacteria colony counts (ACCs) on pig carcasses after chilling at the 10 largest Belgian pig slaughterhouses during 2000 through 2004. Potential risk factors of contamination associated with production parameters, technical descriptions of the installations, and cleaning and disinfection methods were assessed during investigations in the slaughterhouses. These variables were used first in a univariate analysis and then were extended to a multivariate analysis with a logistic mixed regression model for Salmonella and a linear mixed model for ECCs and ACCs with slaughterhouses as the random effect. The results indicated high variability concerning Salmonella contamination among the 10 slaughterhouses, with prevalence ranging from 2.6 to 34.3% according to the area of origin. The median ECC and median ACC ranged from 0.43 to 1.11 log CFU/cm2 and from 2.37 to 3.65 log CFU/cm2, respectively. The results of the logistic and linear regressions revealed that some working practices such as scalding with steam, second flaming after polishing, and complete cleaning and disinfection of the splitting machine several times a day were beneficial for reducing Salmonella prevalence, ECCs, and ACCs. Changing the carcass hooks just before chilling, using water as the cleaning method, and a higher frequency of disinfection of the lairage seemed to be protective against E. coli in the multivariate mixed linear model. The monitoring of critical points, slaughterhouse equipment, good slaughtering practices, and effective washing and disinfection are the keys to obtaining good microbiological results. [less ▲]

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