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ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Food and Feed Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #377931

Research Project: Ecological Reservoirs and Intervention Strategies to Reduce Foodborne Pathogens in Cattle and Swine

Location: Food and Feed Safety Research

Title: A preliminary study on the presence of Salmonella in lymph nodes of sows at processing plants in the United States

item Harvey, Roger
item NORMAN, KERI - Texas A&M University
item Anderson, Robin
item Nisbet, David

Submitted to: Microorganisms
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/16/2020
Publication Date: 10/18/2020
Citation: Harvey, R.B., Norman, K.N., Anderson, R.C., Nisbet, D.J. 2020. A preliminary study on the presence of Salmonella in lymph nodes of sows at processing plants in the United States. Microorganisms. 8(10). Article 1602.

Interpretive Summary: Salmonella are bacteria that may cause food poisoning in humans. In fact, Salmonella is one of the top foodborne disease pathogens in the world, causing millions of human cases of illness and costing billions of dollars. There are a multitude of foods including meat that could be contaminated with Salmonella, yet many times no one knows how the Salmonella got there. In this study, we showed that swine lymph nodes may have Salmonella that could be transferred to edible pork during processing. If successful in reducing Salmonella in the food chain, we could potentially reduce a major disease problem and save countless lives and dollars.

Technical Abstract: Salmonella-contaminated lymph nodes, when included into edible meat products, are a potential source of Salmonella foodborne disease. In this survey, ventral superficial cervical and mandibular lymph nodes (LN) were tested for the presence of Salmonella from two sow processing plants in the midwestern United States. Results indicate that both LN can be contaminated with Salmonella, with mandibular LN having a higher prevalence (p<0.05) of Salmonella than cervical LN (16% vs. 0.91%). The majority (>90%) of Salmonella isolates were pan-susceptible or resistant to one antimicrobial, while 9.78% of isolates were multi-drug-resistant (MDR-resistant to 2 or more classes of antimicrobials). Intervention methods to prevent foodborne disease could include elimination of these LN from pork products or inclusion of LN only into products that are destined for cooking. Integrated, multi-faceted intervention methods need to be developed to reduce Salmonella in the food chain.