CategoryPre-Harvest Pork Safety
Date Full Report Received03/25/2010
Date Abstract Report Received03/25/2010
Funded ByNational Pork Board
Campylobacter is a bacterial organism that causes 2.4 million foodborne illnesses annually in the United States. Pigs can be infected with these pathogens without symptoms, and fecal contamination of meat during processing could be of high food safety risk. The goal of this study is to determine the persistence of Campylobacter coli in the farm to processing continuum. Samples were collected at five sample types. Feces were collected on the farm and in lairage. A hide swab was collected before scalding and the entire carcass was swabbed immediately before chilling. For each individually identified carcass, a meat sample (rib) was also collected. Campylobacter was cultured and speciated. Antibiotic susceptibility was tested. DNA fingerprinting was done to ascertain clonal relatedness. There were 11 instances where Campylobacter coli was isolated from the farm, lairage, hide, carcass and rib of the exact same animal. The most common antibiotic resistance patterns for the sample types were: farm, pansusceptible [n=3], and Te [n=2]; lairage ArCaErTe [n=3]; hide, Te [n=7]; carcass, Te [n=7]; meat Te [n=2]. Campylobacter isolates from meat appear to be phenotypically similar and they are within the same fingerprint group as isolates collected from farm, lairage, hide and carcass. The high relatedness of isolates from farm, lairage, hide and carcass indicate that origin of carcass contamination could well be from on-farm or lairage/ processing sources. There were six new strains identified.