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News 1382 views update:May 15, 2008

One third of EU turkey flocks have salmonella

One third of EU turkey flocks bred for human consumption were found to contain some presence of salmonella between 2006 and 2007, says the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

According to the risk assessor, 30.7% of turkey farms tested* posed an infection risk. These results are expected to influence future policy initiatives with regards to reducing salmonella levels at farm level to protect humans against contamination.
According to EFSA, salmonella was the second most reported case of food-borne disease in the bloc during 2006, with 160,649 suffering infection from some strain of the pathogen.
While turkey meat flocks were found to hold a higher risk of carrying salmonella in the bloc, 13.6% of birds used for breeding also showed contamination, according to the study.
In terms of specific strains, Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium, which are most linked to food infections in humans, were detected in 3.8% of flocks assigned for human consumption. The same varieties were found in 1.7% of breeding stocks, according to the findings.
* The study took place between October 2006 and September 2007, with five environmental faeces samples taken from breeding turkey flocks within 9 weeks of their slaughter date and 3 weeks before meat birds were slaughtered. Over the study period, a total of 539 breeding turkey flocks and 3,769 fattening turkey flocks from the EU and Norway were tested, according to EFSA.
 
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