Submitted to: International Symposium on the Epidemiology and Control of Foodborne Pathogens in Pork
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2003
Publication Date: 10/1/2003
Citation: HURD, H.S., MCKEAN, J.D., GAILEY, J.K., GRIFFITH, R.W., O'CONNOR, A.C. SLATTED PEN FLOORS REDUCE SALMONELLA IN MARKET SWINE HELD IN ABATTOIRS. Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Epidemiology and Control of Foodborne Pathogens in Pork. 2003. p. 203-204.
Technical Abstract: In the U.S., market swine spend two to six hours resting in holding pens after transport and before slaughter. This time is necessary for antemortem inspection and is thought to improve meat quality. However, research is beginning to suggest that these holding pens may be a significant risk for Salmonella infection and therefore a potential critical control point. The objective of this study was to directly compare Salmonella isolation rates from pig slaughtered immediately to those slaughtered after ~ 4 hours holding and those held ~4 hours on slatted floors. Eight truckloads of market swine (~ 120 kg) from a fully integrated farrow-to-slaughter operation were chosen. For each load, all pigs (n=170) originated from the same building. All groups consisted of pigs marketed at close-out of the building. At the time of unloading, small groups of pigs (15-30) were randomly sorted to one of three "treatments"; immediate kill (~15 minutes), ~ 4 hours holding on solid concrete, ~ 4 hours holding on slatted concrete floors. A total of 630 pigs were evaluated. After slaughter, samples (10 g feces, 10 g cecal contents, ileocecal lymph nodes), were collected for Salmonella culture. Results show that immediate slaughter of pigs reduced the cecal prevalence at slaughter. Additionally, those pigs held in pens with slatted floors had significantly (P < 0.05) less Salmonella than those held on solid concrete floors. This study demonstrates that holding pens, even after transport stress, increases Salmonella prevalence of pigs entering the slaughter process and that dry slatted floors may provide some benefit in reducing preslaughter Salmonella exposure.