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J Hyg (Lond). 1977 Apr;78(2):253-60.

Salmonella in pig carcasses for human consumption in Hong Kong: a study on the mode of contamination.


A very high proportion (75%) of the pigs slaughtered in Hong Kong were found to be infected with salmonellas. Seven serotypes including Salmonella choleraesuis were isolated but the majority (91%) were S. anatum and S. derby. These serotypes, especially S. anatum and S. derby, had been isolated frequently from clinical cases, symptomless carries and in this study from abattoir workers, suggesting that the pig was a significant source for human salmonella infection. The majority of pigs slaughtered are imported and the high level of apparent infection was thought to be due to cross-infection during transport of the pigs under stress. S. anatum and S. derby were also isolated from pigs at 60 degreesC for 5 min caused no great reduction in the degree of superficial contamination. The two predominant serotypes were isolated from the tank and from drain swabs, and also from the latter held under scalding tank conditions. Thus, in spite of the introduction of hygienic slaughter under modernized conditions employing an automatic conveyance system 55% of the carcases were superficially contaminated after dressing before despatch to customers. Control of infection before slaughtering would appear crucial and a more thorough rinsing or washing of the dressed carcasses desirable.

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