A qualitative risk assessment for human salmonellosis due to the consumption of fresh pork in Belgium

L. De Sadeleer, J. Dewulf, L. De Zutter, Y. Van der Stede, S. Ribbens, E. De Busser, S. Quoilin, K. Houf, L. Delhalle, K. Grijspeerdt, D. Maes

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA3: Artikel in een nationaal tijdschrift met peer review, dat niet inbegrepen is in A1 of A2 peer review


Although pigs contaminated with Salmonella rarely show clinical symptoms, control is important because of the public health concern. Both producers and consumers are interested in procedures for minimizing the risk of Salmonella infections. This study outlines the entire production path for fresh pork in Belgium, from farm to fork. Additionally, it describes the different critical points for Salmonella contamination, with emphasis on those steps that need extra attention and/or improvement. The data was collected by means of questionnaires at the different steps of the process. In total, 3658 questionnaires were collected, which made it possible to draw up a nationwide image of the pork production process. In the primary production phase, there are several points relating to biosecurity that can be improved in order to minimize the risk for Salmonella in fattening pigs that are sent to slaughter. In the slaughterhouse, there has been an increase in the number of pigs or carcasses that become infected with Salmonella. Attention should be paid to avoiding contact of the feces and tonsils of contaminated pigs with the carcass, and strict hygienic measures should be taken to avoid cross-contamination. During the transformation and distribution of the carcasses, there is a low risk of further spreading of Salmonella spp. Finally, during the consumer phase, the risk for Salmonella contamination increases because of inappropriate temperature conditions during storage, manipulation of the meat and possible cross-contamination with other food products, and the consumption of insufficiently heated and/or raw meat. The present study illustrates that the risk of Salmonella infection by consumption of fresh pork is relatively low under Belgian conditions. Nevertheless, it can be further decreased by implementing additional control measures, mainly in the slaughterhouse and in the domestic kitchen
Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
TijdschriftVlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift
Pagina's (van-tot)34-43
Aantal pagina’s10
PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 2009


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