Description of Extended Pre-Harvest Pig Salmonella Surveillance-and-Control Programme and its Estimated Effect on Food Safety Related to Pork

L. Alban, Kristen Barfod, J. V. Petersen, J. Dahl, J. C. Ajufo, G. Sandø, H. H. Krog, Søren Aabo

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Salmonella in pork can be combated during pre- or post-harvest. For large slaughterhouses, post-harvest measures like decontamination might be cost-effective while this is less likely with small-to-medium sized slaughterhouses. In this study, pre-harvest measures might be more relevant. We describe an extended surveillance-and-control programme for Salmonella in finisher pigs, which, to establish equivalence to the Swedish control programme, is intended for implementation on the Danish island, Bornholm. The effect of the programme on food safety was estimated by analysing Salmonella data from pig carcasses originating from herds that would have qualified for the programme during 2006–2008. Food safety was interpreted as prevalence of Salmonella on carcasses as well as the estimated number of human cases of salmonellosis related to pork produced within the programme. Data from the Danish Salmonella programme were obtained from Bornholm. We used a simulation model developed to estimate the number of human cases based on the prevalence of Salmonella on carcass swabs. Herds are only accepted in the programme if they have one or less seropositive sample within the previous 6 months. In this way, the Salmonella load is kept to a minimum. The programme is not yet in operation and pigs that qualify for the programme are currently mixed at slaughter with those that do not qualify. Therefore, we had to assess the impact on the carcass prevalence indirectly. The prevalence of Salmonella in carcass swabs among qualifying herds was 0.46% for the 3 years as a whole, with 2006 as the year with highest prevalence. According to the simulation the expected number of human cases relating to pork produced within the programme was below 10. When the programme is in operation, an extra effect of separating pigs within the programme from those outside is expected to lower the prevalence of Salmonella even further.
Original languageEnglish
JournalZoonoses and Public Health
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)6-15
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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