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J Food Prot. 2007 Aug;70(8):1790-7.

Microbiological baseline study of swine carcasses at Swedish slaughterhouses.

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National Food Administration, P.O. Box 622, SE-751 26 Uppsala, Sweden.


This 13-month survey was conducted to estimate the prevalence and counts of foodborne pathogenic bacteria and indicator bacteria on swine carcasses in Sweden. A total of 541 swine carcasses were sampled by swabbing prechill at the 10 largest slaughterhouses in Sweden. Pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica was detected by PCR in 16% of the samples. The probability of finding Y. enterocolitica increased with increasing counts of Escherichia coli. No samples were positive for Salmonella. The prevalences of Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes, and verocytotoxin-producing E. coli were low (1, 2, and 1%, respectively). None of the verocytotoxin-positive enrichments, as determined by a reverse passive latex agglutination assay, tested positive for the virulence genes eaeA or hlyA by PCR. Coagulase-positive staphylococci, E. coli, and Enterobacteriaceae were recovered from 30, 57, and 87% of the samples, respectively, usually at low levels (95th percentiles, 0.79, 1.09, and 1.30 log CFU/cm2, respectively). The mean log level of Enterobacteriaceae was 0.35 log CFU/cm2 higher than that of E. coli on carcasses positive for both bacteria. The mean log level of aerobic microorganisms was 3.48 log CFU/cm2, and the 95th percentile was 4.51 log CFU/cm2. These data may be useful for risk assessment purposes and can serve as a basis for risk management actions, such as the use of E. coli as an alternative indicator organism for process hygiene control.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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