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See detailRetrospective analysis of a Listeria monocytogenes contamination episode in raw milk goat cheese using quantitative microbial risk assessment tools
Delhalle, Laurent ULg

in Journal of Food Protection (2012), 13

In 2005, the Belgian authorities reported a Listeria monocytogenes contamination episode in cheese made from raw goat’s milk. The presence of an asymptomatic shedder goat in the herd caused this ... [more ▼]

In 2005, the Belgian authorities reported a Listeria monocytogenes contamination episode in cheese made from raw goat’s milk. The presence of an asymptomatic shedder goat in the herd caused this contamination. On the basis of data collected at the time of the episode, a retrospective study was performed using an exposure assessment model covering the production chain from the milking of goats up to delivery of cheese to the market. Predictive microbiology models were used to simulate the growth of L. monocytogenes during the cheese process in relation with temperature, pH and water activity. The model showed significant growth of L. monocytogenes during chilling and storage of the milk collected the day before the cheese production (median increase of 2.2 log CFU/ml) and during adjunction of starter and rennet to milk (median increase of 1.2 log CFU/ml). The L. monocytogenes concentration in the fresh unripened cheese was estimated to be 3.8 log CFU/g (median). This result is consistent with the number of L. monocytogenes in the fresh cheese (3.6 log CFU/g) reported during the cheese contamination episode. A variance-based method sensitivity analysis identified the most important factors impacting the cheese contamination, and a scenario analysis then evaluated several options for risk mitigation. Thus, by using Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) tools, this study provides reliable information to identify and control critical steps in a local production chain of cheese made from raw goat’s milk. [less ▲]

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See detailRetrospective Analysis of a Listeria monocytogenes Contamination Episode in Raw Milk Goat Cheese Using Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment tools
Delhalle, Laurent ULg; Ellouze, Mariem; Yde, Marc et al

in Journal of Food Protection (2012), 75(12), 2122-2135

In 2005, the Belgian authorities reported a Listeria monocytogenes contamination episode in cheese made from raw goat's milk. The presence of an asymptomatic shedder goat in the herd caused this ... [more ▼]

In 2005, the Belgian authorities reported a Listeria monocytogenes contamination episode in cheese made from raw goat's milk. The presence of an asymptomatic shedder goat in the herd caused this contamination. On the basis of data collected at the time of the episode, a retrospective study was performed using an exposure assessment model covering the production chain from the milking of goats up to delivery of cheese to the market. Predictive microbiology models were used to simulate the growth of L. monocytogenes during the cheese process in relation with temperature, pH, and water activity. The model showed significant growth of L. monocytogenes during chilling and storage of the milk collected the day before the cheese production (median increase of 2.2 log CFU/ml) and during the addition of starter and rennet to milk (median increase of 1.2 log CFU/ml). The L. monocytogenes concentration in the fresh unripened cheese was estimated to be 3.8 log CFU/g (median). This result is consistent with the number of L. monocytogenes in the fresh cheese (3.6 log CFU/g) reported during the cheese contamination episode. A variance-based method sensitivity analysis identified the most important factors impacting the cheese contamination, and a scenario analysis then evaluated several options for risk mitigation. Thus, by using quantitative microbial risk assessment tools, this study provides reliable information to identify and control critical steps in a local production chain of cheese made from raw goat's milk. [less ▲]

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See detailGlucose decreases virulence gene expression of Escherichia coli O157:H7
Delcenserie, Véronique ULg; LaPointe, Gisèle; Charaslertrangsi, Tumnoon et al

in Journal of Food Protection (2012)

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See detailRetrospective analysis of a listeria monocytogenes contamination episode in raw milk goat cheese using quantitative microbial risk assessment tools
Delhalle, Laurent ULg; Ellouze, M.; Yde, M. et al

in Journal of Food Protection (2012), 75(12), 2122-2135

In 2005, the Belgian authorities reported a Listeria monocytogenes contamination episode in cheese made from raw goat's milk. The presence of an asymptomatic shedder goat in the herd caused this ... [more ▼]

In 2005, the Belgian authorities reported a Listeria monocytogenes contamination episode in cheese made from raw goat's milk. The presence of an asymptomatic shedder goat in the herd caused this contamination. On the basis of data collected at the time of the episode, a retrospective study was performed using an exposure assessment model covering the production chain from the milking of goats up to delivery of cheese to the market. Predictive microbiology models were used to simulate the growth of L. monocytogenes during the cheese process in relation with temperature, pH, and water activity. The model showed significant growth of L. monocytogenes during chilling and storage of the milk collected the day before the cheese production (median increase of 2.2 log CFU/ml) and during the addition of starter and rennet to milk (median increase of 1.2 log CFU/ml). The L. monocytogenes concentration in the fresh unripened cheese was estimated to be 3.8 log CFU/g (median). This result is consistent with the number of L. monocytogenes in the fresh cheese (3.6 log CFU/g) reported during the cheese contamination episode. A variance-based method sensitivity analysis identified the most important factors impacting the cheese contamination, and a scenario analysis then evaluated several options for risk mitigation. Thus, by using quantitative microbial risk assessment tools, this study provides reliable information to identify and control critical steps in a local production chain of cheese made from raw goat's milk. © International Association for Food Protection. [less ▲]

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See detailPossible Influence of Surfactants and Proteins on the Efficiency of Contact Agar Microbiological Surface Sampling
Deckers, Sylvie M.; Sindic, Marianne ULg; Anceau, Christine ULg et al

in Journal of Food Protection (2010), 73(11), 2116-2122

Agar contact microbiological sampling techniques, based on a transfer of the microorganisms present on a surface to a culture medium, are widely used to assess and control surface cleanliness and to ... [more ▼]

Agar contact microbiological sampling techniques, based on a transfer of the microorganisms present on a surface to a culture medium, are widely used to assess and control surface cleanliness and to evaluate microbial contamination levels. The effectiveness of these techniques depends on many environmental parameters that influence the strength of attachment of the bacteria to the surface. In the present study, stainless steel and high density polyethylene surfaces were inoculated with known concentrations of Staphylococcus epidermidis. Following an experimental design, the surfaces were sampled with different types of replicate organism direct agar contact plates and Petrifilm; results indicated that recovery rates were influenced by the presence of egg white albumin or Tween 80 in the inoculum solutions or by the introduction of surfactants into the contact agar of the microbiological sampling techniques. The techniques yielded significantly different results, depending on sampling conditions, underlining the need for a standardization of laboratory experiments to allow relevant comparisons of such techniques. [less ▲]

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See detailSalmonella in chicken : Current and developing strategies to reduce contamination at farm level
Vandeplas, Sabrina ULg; Dubois Dauphin, Robin ULg; Beckers, Yves ULg et al

in Journal of Food Protection (2010), 73(4), 774-785

Salmonella sp. is a human pathogen that frequently infects poultry flocks. Consuming raw or undercooked contaminated poultry products can induce acute gastro-enteritis in human. Faced with the public ... [more ▼]

Salmonella sp. is a human pathogen that frequently infects poultry flocks. Consuming raw or undercooked contaminated poultry products can induce acute gastro-enteritis in human. Faced with the public health concern associated with salmonellosis, the European Union (EU) has established a European regulation forcing Member States (MS) to implement control programs aimed at reducing Salmonella prevalence in poultry production, especially at the primary production level. The purpose of the present review article is to summarise the current research and to suggest future developments in the area of Salmonella control in poultry, which may be of value to the industry in the coming years. The review will focus especially on preventive strategies that have been developed and that aim at reducing the incidence of Salmonella colonization in broiler chickens at farm level. Besides the usual preventive hygienic measures, different strategies have been investigated, like feed and drinking water acidification by organic acids and immune strategies based on passive and active immunity. Modulating the diet in terms of ingredient and nutrient composition with the intent of reducing the bird’s susceptibility to Salmonella has also been examined. Because in-ovo feeding has been shown to accelerate small intestinal development and to enhance the epithelial cell function, it could also be an efficient tool to control enteric pathogens. Microflora-modulating feed additives, like antibiotics, prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics, represent another field of investigation, whose success depends on the additive used. Finally, recent control methods, such as chlorate products and bacteriophages, have also been studied. [less ▲]

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See detailUse of a Nisin-Producing Starter Culture of Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis To Improve Traditional Fish Fermentation in Senegal
Diop, Michel; Dubois Dauphin, Robin ULg; Destain, Jacqueline ULg et al

in Journal of Food Protection (2009), 72(9), 1930-1934

Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis strain CWBI B1410, which produces various antibacterial compounds including organic acids and nisin, was used as a starter culture to improve the traditional Senegalese ... [more ▼]

Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis strain CWBI B1410, which produces various antibacterial compounds including organic acids and nisin, was used as a starter culture to improve the traditional Senegalese fish fermentation in which fish are mostly transformed to guedj by spontaneous fermentation for 24 to 48 h at ambient temperatures near 30uC followed by salting (with NaCl) and sun drying. Assays were performed on lean fish (Podamasys jubelini) and fat fish (Arius heudelotii) purchased at a local market. The total viable microbial counts in raw fillets of P. jubelini and A. heudelotii were 5.78 and 5.39 log CFU/g, respectively. Populations of enteric bacteria (which can include pathogenic bacteria) in P. jubelini and A. heudelotii were 4.08 and 4.12 log CFU/g, respectively. Spontaneous fermentation of raw fillets at 30uC led to the proliferation of enteric bacteria to 9 log CFU/g after 24 h in fermented P. jubelini and A. heudelotii fillets with pH values of 6.83 and 7.50, respectively. When raw fish fillets were supplemented with glucose (1%, wt/wt) and inoculated with Lactococcus lactis (107 CFU/g), the pH decreased to about 4.60 after 10 h at 30uC, and nisin activity was detected in juice from the fillets. Traditionally fermented fillets of P. jubelini and A. heudelotii contained enteric bacteria at higher levels of 4 and 2 log CFU/g, respectively, than did fillets of the same fish supplemented with glucose and fermented with the starter culture. These data suggest that this new fish fermentation strategy combined with salting and drying can be used to enhance the safety of guedj [less ▲]

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See detailSurvival Rate Analysis of Freeze-Dried Lactic Acid Bacteria Using the Arrhenius and Z-Value Models
Yao, Amenan Anastasie ULg; Bera, François ULg; Franz, C. et al

in Journal of Food Protection (2008), 71(2), 431-4

The survival rate of five freeze-dried bacteria species, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus pentosus, Weisella paramesenteroides, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, and Lactobacillus fermentum, was described ... [more ▼]

The survival rate of five freeze-dried bacteria species, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus pentosus, Weisella paramesenteroides, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, and Lactobacillus fermentum, was described in terms of reaction rate constants (D or k) and temperature sensitivity of rate constants (z or Ea). The freeze-dried strains were stored under vacuum at 55, 37, and 4 degrees C for 168 h, 17 days, and 2 months, respectively. D-values decreased and k increased with an increase of the storage temperature. Neither the z-value nor the inactivation energy (Ea) of the reaction was significantly different (P > 0.05) for all the strains, suggesting that thermal inactivation of the freeze-dried lactic acid bacteria may occur by the same mechanism. Therefore, it was possible to compare rate constants of survival for the freeze-dried strains studied. [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 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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See detailBacteriocin Activity By Lactobacillus Curvatus Cwbi-B28 To Inactivate Listeria Monocytogenes In Cold-Smoked Salmon During 4 Degrees C Storage
Ghalfi, H.; Allaoui, A.; Destain, Jacqueline ULg et al

in Journal of Food Protection (2006), 69(5),

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See detailBifidobacterium species isolated from animal feces and from beef and pork meat.
Gavini, F.; Delcenserie, Véronique ULg; Kopeinig, K. et al

in Journal of Food Protection (2006), 69(4), 871-7

Bifidobacteria were isolated from 122 of 145 samples of animal feces (from cattle, swine, sheep, goats, horses, rabbits, chickens, geese, and pigeons) from farms in France and Austria and from 92 of 955 ... [more ▼]

Bifidobacteria were isolated from 122 of 145 samples of animal feces (from cattle, swine, sheep, goats, horses, rabbits, chickens, geese, and pigeons) from farms in France and Austria and from 92 of 955 production and processing chain samples of beef and pork (obtained at slaughter, cutting, and retail). Bacterial strains were identified to species by phenotypic numerical classification based on API 50CH and ID 32A tests and DNA-DNA hybridization. Bifidobacterium pseudolongum was present in 81% (99 of 122 samples) of all Bifidobacterium-positive fecal samples and predominated in samples from all animal species except those from swine from Austria. In these Austrian swine samples, the majority of strains were identified as Bifidobacterium thermophilum (78%), followed by B. pseudolongum (48%). The distribution of B. thermophilum and B. pseudolongum differed significantly between Austrian swine and cattle samples such as those collected along beef and pork production and processing chains. Bifidobacterium animalis was isolated from swine feces, and Bifidobacterium ruminantium was isolated from cow dung. Six fecal isolates (from cattle, swine, rabbits, goats, and horses) were identified as belonging to Bifidobacterium species of predominantly human origin: B. adolescentis, B. bifidum, and B. catenulatum. Only one other species, Bifidobacterium choerinum, was detected with low frequency in a pork processing chain. B. pseudolongum subsp. pseudolongum was predominant in pig feces, whereas B. pseudolongum subsp. globosum was predominant in feces from other animal species. Four strains closely related to both subspecies (58 to 61% DNA reassociation) formed a distinct genomic group. PCR techniques, which are more rapid and sensitive than culture-based methods, could be used to detect directly B. pseudolongum and B. thermophilum as indicators of fecal contamination along the meat processing chain. [less ▲]

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See detailBelgian surveillance plans to assess changes in Salmonella prevalence in meat at different production stages
Ghafir, Yasmine; China, Bernard; Korsak, Nicolas et al

in Journal of Food Protection (2005), 68(11), 160-168

From 1997 to 1999, the prevalence of Salmonella was assessed at different stages through the pork, poultry, and beef meat production chains. Different dilutions of the initial sample suspension were ... [more ▼]

From 1997 to 1999, the prevalence of Salmonella was assessed at different stages through the pork, poultry, and beef meat production chains. Different dilutions of the initial sample suspension were analyzed to provide a semiquantitative evaluation of Salmonella contamination and to determine the most representative dilution necessary to detect a reduction in prevalence. An average of 300 samples for each type of meat were analyzed. According to Fisher's exact test, the dilution to be used to detect a reduction in prevalence was chosen based on an initial prevalence of 20 to 26%. Based on this introductory study, a new sampling plan representative of the nationwide Belgian meat production process was used from 2000 through to 2003. This study confirmed the consistently high rate and level of contamination of poultry meat: broiler and layer carcasses were the most contaminated samples followed by broiler fillets and poultry meat preparations. A constant and significant decrease in Salmonella prevalence was observed for pork carcasses, trimmings, and minced meat and for beef minced meat. Less than 3% of beef carcasses and trimming samples were positive for Salmonella. The Belgian plan, as utilized from 2000 to 2003, was suitable for monitoring of zoonoses because the sampling plan was representative of nationwide production processes, covered all periods of the year, and was executed by trained samplers and the analyses were carried out by recognized laboratories using an identical analytical method. [less ▲]

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See detailComparison of four different methods for Salmonella detection in fecal samples of porcine origin
Korsak Koulagenko, Nicolas ULg; Degeye, Jean-Noel; Etienne, Grégory et al

in Journal of Food Protection (2004), 67(10), 2158-2164

Performances of four detection methods were evaluated for recovery of Salmonella spp. in naturally contaminated fecal specimens of porcine origin. The NMKL 71 method consisted of enrichment in Rappaport ... [more ▼]

Performances of four detection methods were evaluated for recovery of Salmonella spp. in naturally contaminated fecal specimens of porcine origin. The NMKL 71 method consisted of enrichment in Rappaport-Vassiliadis broth and plating on xylose-lysine-desoxycholate medium, whereas the SP-VG-M002 method relied on a Diasalm enrichment followed by streaking on xylose-lysine-tergitol 4 agar (XLT-4). The VIDAS SLM method was composed of double enrichment in Muller-Kauffmann tetrathionate broth and in M broths before processing in a VIDAS device. lf the results were positive, the VIDAS ICS immunoenrichment was performed and the result transferred onto three different selective media. The VIDAS ICS protocol is an immunoconcentration step followed by plating on XLT-4. Seventy-eight samples were tested with all four methods simultaneously, leading to 34 positive samples with at least one method. For this assay, VIDAS SLM revealed 31 positive samples (91.2%), whereas the average positive percentage of the three other methods was 37.3% (P < 0.001). Two-paired comparisons with the VIDAS SLM method were also performed. McNemar values were systematically highly significant (P < 0.001). The proportion of agreement was significantly inferior (P < 0.05) for the comparison of VIDAS ICS and VIDAS SLM (68.7%) compared with the two other paired comparisons (average percentage, 81.5%). The conclusion reached by this trial is that VIDAS SLM significantly improves the recovery of Salmonella in naturally contaminated fecal specimens. For the paired-comparisons, NMKL 71 and SP-VG-M002 were comparable in terms of efficiency, whereas the VIDAS ICS protocol, as established by the manufacturer for food samples only, seemed less efficient than the other two. [less ▲]

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See detailDiscrimination between Bifidobacterium species from human and animal origin by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism
Delcenserie, Véronique ULg; Bechoux, Nathalie ULg; Leonard, Tamara et al

in Journal of Food Protection (2004), 67(6), 1284-1288

Bifidobacteria are normal intestinal flora in humans and animals. The genus Bifidobacterium includes 31 species of significant host specificity. Taking into account their properties, we proposed to use ... [more ▼]

Bifidobacteria are normal intestinal flora in humans and animals. The genus Bifidobacterium includes 31 species of significant host specificity. Taking into account their properties, we proposed to use bifidobacteria as fecal contamination indicators. PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism on the 16S rDNA gene was used to distinguish the different Bifidobacterium species. Sixty-four strains belonging to 13 different species were differentiated from animal or human origin using one or two restriction enzymes. Moreover, the primers used were specifics of the Bifidobacterium genus. Therefore, this method made it possible to determine both the presence of bifidobacteria in a sample and its origin of contamination. [less ▲]

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See detailSalmonella contamination of pigs and pork in an integrated pig production system
Korsak Koulagenko, Nicolas ULg; Jacob, Benoit; Groven, Bénédicte et al

in Journal of Food Protection (2003), 66(7), 1126-1133

This paper describes the monitoring of Salmonella in a closed pig production system in Belgium over a 2-year period. A sampling scheme including animal feeds and carcasses was designed to cover the entire ... [more ▼]

This paper describes the monitoring of Salmonella in a closed pig production system in Belgium over a 2-year period. A sampling scheme including animal feeds and carcasses was designed to cover the entire chain of production from farrow to finishing pigs. Salmonella was detected by a method based on the use of semisolid Rappaport-Vassiliadis as a selective medium. The serotypes of the isolated strains were determined, and the antibiotic resistance of these strains to six antibiotics was also investigated. Feeds were found to be more contaminated than expected (10.2%, 34 of 332 samples). The percentage of positive fecal samples for pregnant sows (8.1%, 11 of 135 samples) was significantly higher than that for young and lactating sows (2.9%, 11 of 378 samples) (P<0.05). The percentage of positive samples for colon contents collected at the slaughterhouse (47.3%, 88 of 186 samples) was significantly higher than that for feces collected during the fattening stage (5.6%, 18 of 320 samples) (P<0.001). For carcass swab samples, the observed prevalence was 11.2% (17 of 152 samples). On farms, Salmonella recovery levels were higher for overshoe samples than for fecal samples, except for pregnant sows. Salmonella Typhimurium was the most frequently isolated serotype (32.2%, 55 of 171 samples), while Salmonella Brandenburg was predominant in the colon contents collected at the abattoir (21.4%, 18 of 84 samples). Feeds harbored a wide diversity of serotypes of minor epidemiological significance. Of 55 isolated strains of Salmonella Typhimurium, 11 (20%) were resistant to tetracycline, ampicillin, choramphenicol, streptomycin, trimethoprim, and nalidixic acid (R Type TeAmCSNa), while 12 (21.8%) were resistant to all of these antibiotics except nalidixic acid (R Type TeAmCS). The majority of Salmonella Typhimurium strains that exhibited resistance to more than four antimicrobial agents were characterized as Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 or as being closely related to Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 (7 of 12 isolates). In conclusion, our system of surveillance is effective in identifying most points of contamination in the production chain and will be useful in ongoing efforts to develop a Salmonella-free production system. [less ▲]

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See detailAn Efficient Sampling Technique Used to Detect Four Foodborne Pathogens on Pork and Beef Carcasses in Nine Belgian Abattoirs
Korsak Koulagenko, Nicolas ULg; Daube, Georges ULg; Ghafir, Yasmine et al

in Journal of Food Protection (1998), 61(5), 535-541

The method presented in this paper should prove useful in assessing the effectiveness of HACCP plans developed in slaughterhouses. Samples were collected by swabbing well-defined areas of pork and beef ... [more ▼]

The method presented in this paper should prove useful in assessing the effectiveness of HACCP plans developed in slaughterhouses. Samples were collected by swabbing well-defined areas of pork and beef carcasses with sterile gauze. Between 160 and 420 half-carcasses were swabbed in each of nine pork or beef slaughterhouses. Swabs from five carcasses were placed in the same sterile Stomacher bag, constituting a single composite sample. Standard or validated analytical methods were used to isolate and characterize four foodborne pathogens. Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter spp., and verocytotoxin-producing E. coli were detected, respectively, in 27, 2, 2, and 14% of the pork samples and 0, 22, 10, and 5% of the beef samples. Of the 10 samples positive for E. coli O157, only one yielded an isolate confirmed to be enterohemorrhagic. Since Salmonella spp. appear as the main contaminant port (27%) and L. monocytogenes as the main containment of beef (22%), any slaughterhouse sampling plan should include testing for the former in the case of pork carcasses and for the latter in the case of beef carcasses. One should also test regularly for the presence of E. coli O157 and Campylobacter spp. in pork and beef abattoirs. The method presented here is an easy way to assess the contamination rate of carcasses at the end of the slaughtering process. [less ▲]

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