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Int J Food Microbiol. 1991 Apr;12(4):375-8.

Slaughter pigs and pork as a source of human pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica.

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Inspectorate for Health Protection-Food Inspection Service, Zutphen, The Netherlands.


Pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica strains (serogroups 0:3;0:9 and 0:5.27) were isolated from 36 (42%) of 86 porcine tonsils, 8 (20%) of 40 tongues, 17 (17%) of 100 rectal swabs and from 4 (1%) of 400 pork samples. Pathogenic Yersinia strains were not isolated from samples of 210 pig carcasses and from 20 samples of porcine head meat. These results confirm that pigs are an important reservoir of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica. However, contamination of carcasses during the slaughtering process with Yersinia from either faecal material or from the tonsillary region does not seem to occur frequently and this may also explain the low contamination rate of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica found for pork. For the isolation of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica strains from foods, enrichment in irgasan-ticarcillin-chlorate broth (ITC) and isolation on SS-deoxycholate-calcium agar (SSDC) is recommended.

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