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J Dairy Sci. 2007 Nov;90(11):5083-8.

Prevalence of and risk factors for Listeria species on dairy farms.

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Instituto de Investigación y Análisis Alimentarios, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Facultad de Veterinaria, Campus Universitario s/n. 27002, Lugo, Spain.


This cross-sectional study determined the prevalence of Listeria spp. in bulk-tank milk on dairy farms in the region of Galicia in northwest Spain. The aim was to identify management practices associated with the presence of Listeria spp. and possible effects on milk hygienic quality. A total of 98 farms was randomly selected on the basis of an expected prevalence of 6.5% for Listeria monocytogenes from 20,107 dairy farms in the region. Bulk-tank milk samples were obtained from 98 farms, fecal samples from lactating cows from 97 farms, and silage samples from 83 farms. Listeria monocytogenes was detected in 6.1, 9.3, and 6.0% of these samples, respectively. Statistical analyses confirmed the relationship between low silage quality (as indicated by high pH) and presence of Listeria spp. in silage (29.5 vs. 6.2% for pH above or below 4.5, respectively). Only milking system [tie-stall systems (28.6%) vs. parlor milking (10%)] and inadequately controlled milking order [yes (32.0%) vs. no (10.7%)] had statistically significant effects on management practices for increasing the risk of Listeria contamination of bulk-tank milk.

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