Salmonella surveillance and control for finisher pigs and pork in Denmark — A case study

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2012

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Salmonella can either be controlled pre-harvest, post-harvest or by a combination of both approaches. This paper describes the lessons learned in Danish Salmonella surveillance and control programme for finisher pigs and pork. Initially, main focus was on pre-harvest initiatives and correct identification of herds with respect to the risk for Salmonella that they represented. However, an analysis of risk-mitigating actions applied along the chain from stable to table showed that it would be more cost-effective to deal with Salmonella on the abattoirs than in the herds. This knowledge moved focus from pre- to post-harvest without giving up on pre-harvest surveillance. First of all, this meant increased attention on slaughter hygiene and individual interventions in the abattoirs. In brief, we learned that for a programme to be successful it must be based on standardised methods for sampling and testing to be able to evaluate and compare performance of the programme. More specifically, meat-juice samples taken from finisher pigs at the time of slaughter are an effective way of identifying high-risk herds for Salmonella. In addition, a penalty system might act as an incentive for farmers to deal with Salmonella in their herd. Additionally, common targets for all abattoirs allowing for unique control solutions should be adapted. Finally, decontamination techniques like hot water decontamination are a feasible way of dealing with high-risk pigs (Level-3 pigs). The current prevalence in Danish pork is around 1.2%, and a target is set to
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Research International
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)656-665
StatePublished - 2012
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 21


  • Salmonella, Finisher pigs, Pork, Surveillance, Control
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