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Int J Food Microbiol. 2005 Apr 15;100(1-3):289-310. Epub 2004 Dec 15.

Estimating the probability and level of contamination with Salmonella of feed for finishing pigs produced in Switzerland--the impact of the production pathway.

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Swiss Federal Veterinary Office, Schwarzenburgstrasse 161, CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland.


Contaminated feed is a source of infection with Salmonella for livestock, including pigs. Because pigs rarely show clinical signs of salmonellosis, undetected carriers can enter the food production chain. In a "Farm to Fork" food safety concept, safe feed is the first step for ensuring safe food. Heat treatment or adding organic acids are process steps for reducing or eliminating a contamination with Salmonella. The aims of this study were (I) to estimate the probability and the level of Salmonella contamination in batches of feed for finishing pigs in Swiss mills and (II) to assess the efficacy of specific process steps for reducing the level of contamination with Salmonella. A quantitative release assessment was performed by gathering and combining data on the various parameters having an influence on the final contamination of feed. Fixed values and probability distributions attributed to these parameters were used as input values for a Monte Carlo simulation. The simulation showed that-depending on the production pathway-the probability that a batch of feed for finishing pigs contains Salmonella ranged from 34% (for feed on which no specific decontaminating step was applied) to 0% (for feed in which organic acids were added and a heat treatment was implemented). If contamination occurred, the level of contamination ranged from a few Salmonella kg(-1) feed to a maximum of 8E+04 Salmonella kg(-1) feed. Probability and levels of contamination were highest when no production process able to reduce or eliminate the pathogen was implemented. However, most of the Swiss production was shown to undergo some kind of decontaminating step. A heat treatment, in combination with the use of organic acids, was found as a solution of choice for the control of Salmonella in feed.

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