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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Meat Safety and Quality » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #308940

Title: Salmonella spp. in lymph nodes of fed and cull cattle: Relative assessment of risk to ground beef

Author
item LI, MIN - Cornell University - New York
item MALLADI, SASIDHAR - University Of Minnesota
item HURD, SCOTT - Iowa State University
item GOLDSMITH, TIMOTHY - University Of Minnesota
item Harhay, Dayna
item LONERAGAN, GUY - Texas Tech University

Submitted to: Food Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/9/2014
Publication Date: 4/1/2015
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/60856
Citation: Li, M., Malladi, S., Hurd, S., Goldsmith, T.J., Harhay, D.M., Loneragan, G. 2015. Salmonella spp. in lymph nodes of fed and cull cattle: Relative assessment of risk to ground beef. Food Control. 50:423-434.

Interpretive Summary: Ground beef products have been implicated as a vehicle for the transmission of Salmonella in a number of outbreaks in the United States. Although carcass surface interventions have proven effective, Salmonella contamination in ground beef still occurs. Recent studies indicate that lymph nodes may be an important source of Salmonella contamination in ground beef products. Here we present a simulation model designed to assess the relative contribution of lymph nodes, compared with carcass surface contamination, to Salmonella contamination of ground beef. The model addresses trim inputs from both fed and cull cattle, in high and low Salmonella prevalence seasons, and contamination from carcass surfaces and lymph nodes was simulated separately. Results from the model using raw data from a number of post-harvest surveys of Salmonella in beef production systems, indicate that the majority of Salmonella contamination in ground beef originates from lymph nodes of fed cattle. Further, the model predicts anticipated reduction in Salmonella ground beef contamination corresponding with generic pre-harvest interventions. These model data provide information to the beef industry for prioritizing control measures targeting Salmonella contamination in ground beef

Technical Abstract: Ground beef products have been implicated as the vehicle for the transmission of Salmonella in a number of outbreaks. Although carcass surface interventions have proven effective, Salmonella contamination in ground beef still occurs. Recent studies indicate that deep tissue lymph nodes (DTLNs) may be an important source of Salmonella contamination in ground beef products. We developed a stochastic simulation model covering the pre- to post-harvest stages to assess the relative contribution of DTLN as compared with carcass surface, to Salmonella in ground beef, and the impact of various pre- and post-harvest interventions. The model addressed fed and cull cattle, and in high and low prevalence seasons. Contamination from carcass surface and DTLNs was simulated separately. Linear relationships were used to describe the changes of Salmonella surface concentration and prevalence at different processing stages. The baseline results indicate that on average over 90% of the Salmonella CFU load in a 2,000 lb (907 kg) production lot originates from DTLN contamination as compared with carcass surface contamination. The relative contribution of DTLN contamination was fairly robust to changes in model parameters for ground beef from fed cattle, while it was comparatively more sensitive to changes in model parameters for cull cattle. The predicted mean Salmonella CFU load from DTLN contamination was considerably greater in ground beef production lots from fed cattle compared with cull cattle. Correspondingly, our scenario analysis suggested that generic pre-harvest interventions which can reduce Salmonella contamination in DTLNs would cause a greater total CFU load reduction in ground beef production lots from fed cattle compared with cull cattle. The study provides some information for prioritizing control measures targeted at Salmonella contamination from the beef carcass surface or DTLNs based on the current knowledge.