Report on Salmonella in E.U. breeding pigs released

by Bryan Salvage
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LONDON — Results of an E.U.-wide survey on Salmonella in breeding pigs have been published by the European Food Safety Authority (E.F.S.A.). The survey indicates Salmonella is commonly detected in holdings with breeding pigs in most E.U. member states and recommends further studies on surveillance for Salmonella in breeding pigs.

The survey was carried out in 24 member states, Norway and Switzerland. All but two countries found some type of Salmonella in their holdings with breeding pigs. On average, Salmonella was found in one out of three holdings with breeding pigs across the E.U., but the survey also says that figures vary greatly between member states.

E.U. legislation foresees reduction targets for Salmonella in foods and animal populations as part of the overall E.U. strategy to reduce foodborne diseases in humans. E.F.S.A.’s survey results will support the setting of these reduction targets for breeding pigs.

The survey indicates many types of Salmonella were found throughout the E.U. The type that was most frequently detected was Salmonella Derby, followed by Salmonella Typhimurium. Many of these types, in particular S. Typhimurium, are reported to be causes of Salmonella infections in humans across the E.U.

This was the fifth baseline survey for Salmonella in food-producing animals conducted in the E.U. Throughout 2008, fresh fecal samples were taken from pens, yards or groups of breeding pigs and tested for the presence of Salmonella. Tests were conducted in a total of 1,609 holdings housing and selling mainly breeding pigs (breeding holdings) and 3,508 holdings housing breeding pigs and selling mainly pigs for fattening or slaughter (production holdings) from 24 E.U. member states, Norway and Switzerland. The holdings were randomly selected and represented at least 80% of the breeding pig population in each country.

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