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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Meat Safety and Quality » Research » Research Project #443935

Research Project: Developing a Quantitative Salmonella Baseline and Characterizing Salmonella Isolates from Ground Beef in the United States

Location: Meat Safety and Quality

Project Number: 3040-42000-020-010-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 1, 2023
End Date: Aug 1, 2024

Our team hypothesizes that Salmonella presence, prevalence, serotypes, and presence of highly pathogenic Salmonella (HPS) in ground beef (GB) will vary by geographic location and season and also by serotype and quantification depending on the facility. We will investigate this hypothesis using the following objectives: 1. Develop a blinded quantitative Salmonella baseline for the U.S. beef industry representing season and geographical waves. 2. Determine Salmonella serotype(s) present in each positive sample and the presence of highly pathogenic strains associated with U.S. GB.

We will collect 13,123 samples from very small, small, and large GB facilities for the Salmonella baseline study with samples processed at TTU, TTUVM, KSU, and FSNS. Both a quantitative and prevalence baseline will be established. Positive samples will be analyzed for multiple serotypes at UGA, and USMARC will determine the presence of HPS. The baseline will be partitioned by season and geography. We acknowledge that GB could represent beef harvested/finished at facilities across the U.S. so the geographic partitioning will be based on facility location only. Imported GB samples will also be purchased from the supermarket and analyzed. The final outcome will be a Salmonella baseline that includes quantitative data, prevalence data, and a description of the serotypes and the presence of HPS.