Submitted to: International Association for Food Protection Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 21, 2004
Publication Date: August 14, 2005
Citation: Karns, J.S., Van Kessel, J.S., McCluskey, B.J., Perdue, M.L. 2005. Prevalence of Salmonella enterica in bulk tank milk from US Dairies as determined by PCR. International Association for Food Protection Proceedings, August 14-17, 2005, Baltimore, MD. p.1 Technical Abstract: Raw milk may contain bacteria that are pathogenic to humans. Although pasteurization will kill these bacteria, many people still drink raw milk or eat raw milk products. The objective of this study was to determine how often raw milk from U.S. dairies is contaminated with the pathogenic bacterium Salmonella enterica. A real-time assay based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to detect Salmonella enterica in milk samples from across the United States taken as part of the NAHMS 2002 Dairy survey. We had previously analyzed these samples using conventional bacteriological culture techniques and found that 2.6% of them contained Salmonella enterica. When assayed using the real-time PCR assay we found that a substantially higher number (11.8%) contained Salmonella enterica. Thus, Salmonella in raw milk represents a greater potential risk to consumers of raw milk and raw milk products than previously believed. Real-time PCR may be more sensitive than traditional culture methods for the detection of Salmonella spp. in raw milk. In addition, enrichment followed by RT-PCR yields results in 24 h as opposed to 48 to 72 h for traditional culture.