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Vet Parasitol. 2009 Feb 23;159(3-4):197-205. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2008.10.063. Epub 2008 Oct 22.

Trichinella diagnostics and control: mandatory and best practices for ensuring food safety.

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  • 1Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Centre for Food-Borne and Animal Parasitology, 116 Veterinary Road, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


Because of its role in human disease, there are increasing global requirements for reliable diagnostic and control methods for Trichinella in food animals to ensure meat safety and to facilitate trade. Consequently, there is a need for standardization of methods, programs, and best practices used in the control of Trichinella and trichinellosis. This review article describes the biology and epidemiology of Trichinella, and describes recommended test methods as well as modified and optimized procedures that are used in meat inspection programs. The use of ELISA for monitoring animals for infection in various porcine and equine pre- and post-slaughter programs, including farm or herd certification programs is also discussed. A brief review of the effectiveness of meat processing methods, such as freezing, cooking and preserving is provided. The importance of proper quality assurance and its application in all aspects of a Trichinella diagnostic system is emphasized. It includes the use of international quality standards, test validation and standardization, critical control points, laboratory accreditation, certification of analysts and proficiency testing. Also described, are the roles and locations of international and regional reference laboratories for trichinellosis where expert advice and support on research and diagnostics are available.

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