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Prevalence and Number of Salmonella in Irish Retail Pork Sausages

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A national Salmonella control program in the pork industry was enacted in Ireland in August 2002. This study was undertaken as part of a larger project investigating the role of pork as a source of human salmonellosis in Ireland. The objective of this survey was to assess the prevalence of Salmonella in Irish pork sausage at retail level. Samples, comprising branded prepacked sausages and loose sausages from supermarket meat counters and butcher shops, were collected from selected retail sites in four cities from October to December 2001 and from June to August 2002. A three-tube most-probable-number method was used to enumerate Salmonella in a selected number of samples that were positive by enrichment. Salmonella serotypes were detected in 4.4 and 1.7% of samples at each of the respective sampling periods, a level similar to those reported in other U.S. and U.K. studies. Isolates were characterized by serotype, phage type, and antimicrobial susceptibility. Eighteen (70%) were resistant to at least one antimicrobial, and 15 (58%) were resistant to four or more antimicrobials. Most of the isolates exhibited resistance to tetracycline. Five different phage types were detected. DT104 was the predominant phage type among Salmonella Typhimurium isolates. This study revealed that multidrug-resistant salmonellae are present in a proportion of Irish sausages and that further risk analysis work is necessary in order to quantify the risk posed to public health.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland 2: Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, Abbotstown, Dublin 15, Ireland 3: Department of Statistics, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland 4: Food Safety Authority of Ireland, Abbey Court, Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1, Ireland

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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