Evidence is presented for the extent of contamination of freshly slaughtered pig carscasses with human pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica and shows the significance of faecal contamination as a source of infection. Swab samples collected from the rectum and the surface of a total of 1458 pig carcasses were examined for the presence of human pathogenic Y. enterocolitica. Y. enterocolitica, biovar IV, serogroup 0:3, were isolated from the rectum of 360 pigs (24.7%). The organism was isolated from carcass surfaces with varying frequencies depending on the evisceration technique. Manual evisceration was found to correspond with high frequencies of contamination: 26.3% on the medial hind limb and 12.9% on the split sternum. The use of a mechanised bung cutter was found to reduce the rate of contamination, especially when the bung cutter was used in connexion with enclosing the anus and rectum in a plastic bag to minimise faecal contamination. When carcasses were eviscerated in this way, it was possible to reduce carcass contamination to 1.9% on the medial hind limb, 1.0% in the pelvic duct, and 2.2% on the split sternum.