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Prevalence and Molecular Profiles of Salmonella Collected at a Commercial Turkey Processing Plant

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In this study, whole carcasses were sampled at eight stages on a turkey-processing line and Salmonella prevalence was determined using enrichment techniques. Recovered Salmonella was further characterized using serotyping and the molecular profiles were determined using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Prevalence data showed that contamination rates varied along the line and were greatest after defeathering and after chilling. Analysis of contamination in relation to serotypes and PFGE profiles found that on some visits the same serotype was present all along the processing line while on other days, additional serotypes were recovered that were not detected earlier on the line, suggesting that the birds harbored more than one serotype of Salmonella or there was cross-contamination occurring during processing. Overall, this study found fluctuations in Salmonella prevalence along a turkey-processing line. Following washing, Salmonella prevalence was significantly reduced, suggesting that washing is critical for Salmonella control in turkey processing and has significant application for controlling Salmonella at the postdefeathering and prechill stages where prevalence increased.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: The Great Plains Institute of Food Safety, Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota 58105, USA 2: Information Technology Services, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota 58105, USA

Publication date: 2006-08-01

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