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News 303 views update:Mar 11, 2008

Monitoring Salmonella in German turkey flocks

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has carried out a study on Salmonella in German turkey stocks as a part of an EU-wide monitoring programme.

 Upon completion, the EU will use the results to draw-up European-wide and country-specific campaigns to reduce Salmonella in turkeys.
The study revealed that around 10% of fattening turkey flocks examined showed signs of Salmonella. In contrast, the breeding turkey flocks were free of the bacteria.
"For the purposes of precautionary consumer protection, the control of Salmonella must, therefore, already begin at the breeding and fattening stages of food-producing animals," said Prof Dr Hensel, president of the Institute.
In the turkey study 300 fattening turkey flocks and 98 breeding turkey flocks were examined. Five collective faecal samples from each flock were examined for Salmonella. The bacteria was not detected in any of the samples from the breeding turkey flocks. The situation was different in the case of the fattening turkeys. Salmonella was detected in at least one sample from 31 out of the 300 fattening turkey flocks (10.3%).
Twelve different Salmonella sub-groups were found in the laboratory, the most common being Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium. Salmonella enteritidis was only detected in one flock, Salmonella typhimurium in eight flocks.
Overall, the results showed that both fattening pigs and chickens are potential sources of infection for humans.
At the slaughtering stage, Salmonella from infected animals can remain in the meat products produced. For this reason, hygiene is imperative at slaughterhouses and processing facilities. The European Food Safety Authority will gather the results from all participating countries in order to coordinate further action plans.
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Editor WorldPoultry

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