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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