Assessing the effectiveness of on-farm and abattoir interventions in reducing pig-meat borne Salmonellosis within EU member states

Hill, Andrew A. and Simons, Robin L. and Swart, Arno N. and Kelly, Louise and Hald, Tine and Snary, Emma L. (2016) Assessing the effectiveness of on-farm and abattoir interventions in reducing pig-meat borne Salmonellosis within EU member states. Risk Analysis, 36 (3). pp. 545-560. ISSN 0272-4332

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    Abstract

    As part of the evidence base for the development of National Control Plans for Salmonella spp. in pigs for EU Member States, a Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment was funded to support the scientific opinion required by the EC from the European Food Safety Authority. The main aim of the risk assessment was to assess the effectiveness of interventions implemented on-farm and at the abattoir in reducing human cases of pig meat borne salmonellosis, and how the effects of these interventions may vary across EU Member States. Two case study Member States have been chosen to assess the effect of the interventions investigated. Reducing both breeding herd and slaughter pig prevalence were effective in achieving reductions in the number of expected human illnesses in both case study Member States. However, there is scarce evidence to suggest which specific on-farm interventions could achieve consistent reductions in either breeding herd or slaughter pig prevalence. Hypothetical reductions in feed contamination rates were important in reducing slaughter pig prevalence for the case study Member State where prevalence of infection was already low, but not for the high-prevalence case study. The most significant reductions were achieved by a 1- or 2-log decrease of Salmonella contamination of the carcass post- evisceration; a 1-log decrease in average contamination produced a 90% reduction in human illness. The intervention analyses suggest that abattoir intervention may be the most effective way to reduce human exposure to Salmonella spp. However, a combined farm/abattoir approach would likely have cumulative benefits. On-farm intervention is probably most effective at the breeding herd level for high-prevalence Member States; once infection in the breeding herd has been reduced to a low enough level, then feed and biosecurity measures would become increasingly more effective.