Quantification of Campylobacter in Swine before, during, and after the Slaughter Process
Campylobacter has been implicated as a major cause of foodborne illness worldwide. Pigs can be subclinically infected, and fecal contamination of meat during slaughter is a food safety risk. The objective of this study was to determine the association between the concentration
of Campylobacter pre- and periharvest with postharvest contamination in swine. Samples were collected from 100 individually identified swine during the pre-, peri-, and postharvest periods. For each animal, the following phases were sampled: on farm (fecal sample), in lairage (hide
swab), post-stunning and exsanguination (rectal contents), prechilling (carcass swab), and final product (rib meat) sample. The proportions of samples that were Campylobacter positive were 90, 95, 76, 100, and 49% for fecal, rectal content, hide, carcass, and rib meat samples, respectively.
The mean Campylobacter concentrations for each sample were fecal sample, 1.7 × 106 CFU/g; rectal content, 1.2 × 107 CFU/g; hide swab, 1.4 CFU/cm2; carcass swab, 1.7 × 103 CFU per half carcass; and rib meat, 18 CFU/g. There
was a positive correlation between Campylobacter concentrations in fecal samples (R = 0.20, P = 0.065) and concentration of Campylobacter on rib meat, and between rectal content sample concentration (R = 0.20, P = 0.068) and the concentration on rib
meat. There was no association between the isolation of Campylobacter on rib meat and the isolation of Campylobacter at any pre- or periharvest stage. This could indicate that the risk of a meat product being contaminated is associated with pigs that shed higher concentrations
of Campylobacter before slaughter.
Document Type: Research Article
Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA
Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA
Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA. email@example.com
Publication date: January 1, 2012
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