Population data and apparent prevalence data from the Salmonella surveillance and control program in pigs (NSSCP) from 1998 and 1999 were used in a simulation model to evaluate the efficacy of the program. The model consists of three parts: modelling of individual prevalence at the abattoir (abattoir part), modelling of the number of sampled herds of different sizes when carcasses are randomly sampled at the abattoir (sampling strategy part) and finally, modelling of the within herd prevalence (within herd part). A total of 136,550 sows and 2,866,550 finishing pigs slaughtered, 4446 herds and 11 herds positive for Salmonella in 1994/1995-2000 were included in the abattoir part, sampling strategy part and the within herd part of the model, respectively. The abattoir part showed an average estimated prevalence of Salmonella in sows and finishing pigs of (median) 0.4% (5-95 percentiles = 0.03-2%) and 0.1% (0.04-0.2%) respectively. The estimated number of infected sow carcasses that entered the market was 502 (37-2157) while the estimated number of finishing pig carcasses was 2919 (1218-5771). The probability of being sampled for the 10% smallest herds was (mean) 1.9% (1.6-2.2), to 25% (24.7-26.5%) for the 10% largest herds. The within herd prevalence was estimated to be from 1% to 4% for Norwegian pig herds. The conclusions drawn from this evaluation are that the NSSCP does not have any significant consumer protection effect, and that the documentation could be done more effectively using the herd rather than the individual animal as the unit of sampling. Sampling should focus on the larger herds supplying most of the meat on the market and on herds that produce breeding sows and piglets and thus can contribute to the spread of Salmonella among herds.
The national control programme for Salmonella in Danish swine herds introduced in 1993 has led to a large decrease in pork-associated human cases of salmonellosis. The pork industry is increasingly focused on the cost-effectiveness of surveillance while maintaining consumer confidence in the pork food supply. Using national control programme data from 2003 and 2004, we developed a zero-inflated binomial model to predict which farms were most at risk of Salmonella. We preferentially sampled these high-risk farms using two sampling schemes based on model predictions resulting from a farm's covariate pattern and its random effect. Zero-inflated binomial modelling allows assessment of similarities and differences between factors that affect herd infection status (introduction), and those that affect the seroprevalence in infected herds (persistence and spread). Both large (producing greater than 5000 pigs per annum), and small herds (producing less than 2000 pigs per annum) were at significantly higher risk for infection and subsequent seroprevalence, when compared with medium sized herds (producing between 2000 and 5000 pigs per annum). When compared with herds being located elsewhere, being located in the south of Jutland significantly decreased the risk of herd infection, but increased the risk of a pig from an infected herd being seropositive. The model suggested that many of the herds where Salmonella was not detected were infected, but at a low prevalence. Using cost and sensitivity, we compared the results of our model based sampling schemes with those under the standard sampling scheme, based on herd size, and the recently introduced risk-based approach. Model-based results were less sensitive but show significant cost savings. Further model refinements, sampling schemes and the methods to evaluate their performance are important areas for future work, and these should continue to occur in direct consultation with Danish authorities.
Surveillance and control are important aspects of food safety assurance strategies at the pre-harvest level of pork production. Prior to implementation of a Salmonella surveillance and control programme, it is important to have knowledge on the dynamics and epidemiology of Salmonella infections in pig herds. For this purpose, 17 finishing pig herds initially classified as seropositive and 15 as seronegative, were followed for a 2-year period through serological and bacteriological sampling. The study included 10 herds from Denmark, 13 from The Netherlands, 4 from Germany and 5 from Sweden and was performed between October 1996 and May 1999. The Salmonella status of finishing pig herds was determined by an initial blood sampling of approximately 50 finishing pigs close to market weight per herd. The development of the Salmonella status of the selected herds was assessed at seven subsequent sampling rounds of 25 blood samples from finishing pigs, 25 blood samples from grower pigs and 10 pen faecal samples each, approximately 3 months apart. The odds for testing finishers seropositive, given that growers were found seropositive previously were 10 times higher than if growers were seronegative (OR 10.0, 95% CI 3.2-32.8). When Salmonella was isolated from pen faecal samples, the herd was more likely to be classified seropositive in the same sampling round, compared to no Salmonella being detected (OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.1-14.6). The stability of an initially allocated Salmonella status was found to vary noticeably with time, apparently irrespective of a seropositive or seronegative classification at onset of the study. Given the measured dynamics in the occurrence of Salmonella in pig herds, regular testing is necessary to enable producers, advisors and authorities to react to sudden increases in the Salmonella prevalence in single herds or at a national level.
The Danish Salmonella Surveillance-and-Control Programme in finisher pigs includes both herd and carcass surveillance. Herd surveillance consists of serological testing of meat-juice samples and classification of herds into three Salmonella seroprevalence levels. At the abattoirs, carcass swabs from five pigs are collected daily and analysed as a pooled sample to evaluate the Salmonella carcass prevalence. This study aimed to investigate factors associated with Salmonella carcass prevalence in Denmark. A total of 20,196 pooled carcass swabs collected in 23 Danish abattoirs were included in the analysis. A multilevel logistic regression model was used taking into account the two-level data structure (abattoir, carcass pool) and adjusting the parameter estimates to the random variation at the abattoir level. Study results indicated that carcass contamination was mainly influenced by the probability that at least one pig contributing to the pool was seropositive, the log-transformed number of seropositive pigs delivered to the abattoir on the same day and weekday. No other factors were found to be significant (P>0.05). Large reductions in the number of seropositive pigs delivered to slaughter are unlikely to result in large reductions of the Salmonella carcass prevalence, unless the number of seropositive pigs can be kept below approximately 200. On average, individual Salmonella carcass prevalence can be kept below 1% by keeping a Salmonella input to the abattoir below approximately 50 seropositive pigs. Variation between abattoirs suggested that improved hygiene practices in some of the abattoirs would reduce the Salmonella carcass prevalence further.
Salmonella enterica var. Heidelberg was isolated from an unusual food source during routine case follow-up, prompting a case control investigation of frozen chicken nuggets and strips. Most frozen nuggets and strips are raw; however, par-frying lends a cooked appearance. As such, suitable food preparation precautions might not be undertaken by consumers. Cases were confirmed in the laboratory between 1 January and 1 April 2003. Controls were generated through forward-digit dialing and individually matched by age category. Telephone interviews were conducted, and limited sampling of unopened product was performed. Eighteen matched pairs were interviewed. The odds of infection were 11 times higher in individuals who had consumed frozen processed chicken nuggets and strips (95% confidence interval, 1.42
Food Safety Intervention Technologies Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038, USA. email@example.com
Standardized methods for applying sanitizer treatments to cantaloupes and for recovering surviving native microflora or Salmonella on inoculated cantaloupe after sanitizing are lacking. Accordingly, the objectives of this study were to compare four methods for applying sanitizers (dipping, dipping with rotation, dipping with agitation, and dipping with rubbing) using 200 ppm of chlorine or 5% H2O2, two recovery methods (homogenization of rind plugs in a stomacher or blender), and five selective recovery media for Salmonella. Whole cantaloupes were submerged in a cocktail of five strains of Salmonella (each at approximately 2 x 10(8) CFU/ml) for 10 min and allowed to dry for 1 h inside a biosafety cabinet and stored at 20 degrees C for approximately 23 h before sanitizing. The recovery of Salmonella from whole cantaloupe without sanitizing averaged 5.09 log CFU/cm2 by blending and 4.30 log CFU/cm2 by homogenization in a stomacher for the five selective agar media. Microbial populations (Salmonella or the indigenous aerobic mesophilic bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, lactic acid bacteria, Pseudomonas spp., and yeast and mold) were not significantly (P > 0.05) reduced by treating with water regardless of the treatment method used. Sanitizing with chlorine or H2O2 by dipping, with or without rotation for 2 min, also did not reduce microbial populations. However, populations of all classes of native microflora and Salmonella were significantly (P 0.05) for recovery of Salmonella after washing treatments.
The Danish surveillance-and-control program for Salmonella in slaughter pigs was introduced in 1995. The key element of the program is a quick and correct identification of herds with high seroprevalence. After 5 years, the classification scheme was evaluated--and a revision was made. Data from two Salmonella screenings including a total of 1902 slaughter pig herds were used. For each herd, information was available on Salmonella status based on both microbiology and serology. Based on analyses of these data, suitable changes in the scheme were identified and their effect estimated by use of data from the Danish Salmonella Database including all herds in 2000. The classification scheme has been adjusted on the following points. (1) The sampling has been simplified into 60, 75, or 100 samples per herd per year depending on herd size. This means more-precise estimates for the seroprevalence among smaller herds. (2) Herds with an annual kill or=index 40, and the limit between Levels 2 and 3 to >or=index 70. If the Danish swine producers are interested, a Level 0 may be introduced (consisting of seronegative herds as an indication of a negligible Salmonella prevalence). The classification scheme was introduced in August 2001.
BACKGROUND: Compared to other microbes, Salmonella gets rather frequent coverage in Norwegian newspapers. METHODS: This article reports a qualitative content analysis of three Norwegian newspapers' coverage of Salmonella in the period January 1996 to July 1998. We focus on aspects of the "risk image" given to Salmonella, with special emphasis on the type of solutions or measures that are associated with the Salmonella problem. RESULTS: The analysis shows that when a newspaper defines Salmonella as a potential risk in Norway, the responsibility and relevant solutions are placed mainly at the political and to some extent at the central administrative level. When Salmonella is defined as a current risk, there seems to be a shift to central and individual levels. With individual solutions the responsibility for Salmonella illness is placed at the consumers and their personal and food hygiene, and a relevant measure seems to be to educate the consumers to cope with the Salmonella risk themselves. INTERPRETATION: In Norway, Salmonella is a minor health problem compared to other countries. With the ongoing harmonisation between Norwegian and EU regulations, the Salmonella situation may change, and the relevant solutions may then imply a transfer of the responsibility for health to the individual. This raises the question of whether solutions based on individuals bearing responsibility for their personal health are desirable when it comes to such aspects as food, microbes and related risks.
A modular process risk model approach was used to assess health risks associated with Salmonella spp. after consumption of the Danish meatball product (frikadeller) produced with fresh pork in a catering unit. Meatball production and consumption were described as a series of processes (modules), starting from 1.3kg meat pieces through conversion to 70g meatballs, followed by a dose response model to assess the risk of illness from consumption of these meatballs. Changes in bacterial prevalence, concentration, and unit size were modelled within each module. The risk assessment was built using observational data and models that were specific for Salmonella spp. in meatballs produced in the catering sector. Danish meatballs are often pan-fried followed by baking in an oven before consumption, in order to reach the core temperature of 75°C recommended by the Danish Food Safety Authority. However, in practice this terminal heat treatment in the oven may be accidentally omitted. Eleven production scenarios were evaluated with the model, to test the impact of heat treatments and cooling rates at different room temperatures. The risk estimates revealed that a process comprising heat treatment of meatballs to core temperatures higher than 70°C, and subsequent holding at room temperatures lower than 20°C, for no longer than 3.5h, were very effective in Salmonella control. The current Danish Food Safety Authority recommendation of cooking to an internal temperature of 75°C is conservative, at least with respect to Salmonella risk. Survival and growth of Salmonella during cooling of meatballs not heat treated in oven had a significant impact on the risk estimates, and therefore, cooling should be considered a critical step during meatball processing.