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J Food Prot. 2006 Aug;69(8):1785-93.

Effect of preslaughter events on the prevalence of Salmonella in market-weight turkeys.

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  • 1Pre-Harvest Food Safety and Enteric Diseases Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Ames, Iowa 50010, USA.


The goal of this study was to determine if preslaughter events, such as transport to and holding at the slaughterhouse, affect Salmonella prevalence in turkeys. Floors of transport crates were swabbed after loading and prior to transport at the farm (time 1, n = 100 swabs per trial) and after transport to and holding at the abattoir (time 2, n = 100 swabs per trial). In addition, environmental samples were taken at each of the six premises (n = 25 per premises) as well as in the holding shed at the abattoir (n = 25 samples per trial). At slaughter, the crops, ceca, and spleens were cultured (n = 50 each per flock). As shown from the culture of the crate floor swabs collected pre- and posttransport, when individual farms were analyzed, samples from only one premises exhibited a statistically significant change, as seen by the decline in Salmonella prevalence posttransport (P < 0.01). When the data from all farms were combined, Salmonella was recovered more frequently from swabs collected pretransport at loading on-farm (time 1, 47.6%) than from swabs collected after transport (time 2, 39.7%, P < 0.01). This suggests that transport to and holding at the abattoir do not increase the prevalence of Salmonella in turkeys. This observation contrasts with the increase in Salmonella prevalence reported for hogs and some broilers.

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