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Risk Factors for Salmonella and Hygiene Indicators in the 10 Largest Belgian Pig Slaughterhouses

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Abstract:

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.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Food Science Department, Microbiology Section, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, Sart-Tilman, B43bis, 4000 Liège, Belgium 2: Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium; Veterinary Epidemiology Unit, Department of Reproduction, Obstetrics and Herd Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium 3: Center for Statistics, University of Hasselt, Campus Diepenbeek, Agoralaan Gebouw D, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium 4: Animal Production Department, Biostatistics, Economy and Animal Selection, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, Sart-Tilman, B43bis, 4000 Liège, Belgium 5: Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Applied to Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, Sart-Tilman, B42, 4000 Liège, Belgium 6: Veterinary Epidemiology Unit, Department of Reproduction, Obstetrics and Herd Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium 7: Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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