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Int J Food Microbiol. 1996 Dec;33(2-3):245-56.

Pathogenic micro-organisms in slaughterhouse sludge--a survey.

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Department of the Science of Food of Animal Origin, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Netherlands. VVDO@POBOX.RUU.NL


During slaughtering of animals and subsequent meat processing the process water used becomes polluted with organic matter of animal origin (i.e. protein and fat). This organic sludge is, in principle, a product suitable for animal feeding. To investigate the microbiological contamination level of sludge, raw sludge was collected at pig (n = 8) and poultry (n = 5) slaughterhouses. Both flocculated and aerobically activated sludge was monitored. Slaughterhouse sludge was heavily contaminated with Enterobacteriaceae (6.3-10.0 in log10 N/gram dry matter) and enterococci (4.6-7.9). Clostridia were present in sludge at a level of 3.1-5.8 (in log10 N/g DM). Salmonella was present in the sludge from all slaughterhouses examined. Yersinia enterocolitica serotypes O:3 and O:9 were found in sludge from seven out of thirteen slaughterhouses. The prevalence of Campylobacter jejuni/coli was higher in flocculated poultry sludge than in both flocculated pig sludge and aerobically activated pig sludge. Obviously, decontamination of the sludge is mandatory when it is to be applied as a feed constituent, to prevent bacterial cycles from occurring in livestock, as well as the spread of human pathogenic zoonoses like campylobacter, salmonella and yersinia, to minimize loss of protein quality by the microbial breakdown of amino acids and the formation of possible toxic metabolites in sludge during storage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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