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Battle Against Salmonella Being Led by Scots

by 5m Editor
10 June 2008, at 11:26am

SCOTLAND - Yesterday, it was reported that the Scottish pig industry was leading the battle against salmonella in pork after viewing figures showing that one in 10 pigs across Europe have, at some point in their lives, been infected with salmonella.

According to The Press and Journal, the statistics from the European Food Safety Authority indicated only Finland was free of the bug that is responsible for tens of thousands of humans falling ill annually. The UK had infection levels of 21.2%, 13.8% and 4.8%, depending on the salmonella strain involved in the 639 samples taken from lymph nodes.

Carcase swabs indicated the three main salmonella strains on 13.5%, 7.2% and 3.1% of the 641 UK samples.

The worst lymph node infections were in Spain at 29%, Luxembourg at 22.4% and Greece at 24.8%.

Ireland at 20%, Belgium at 18.8% and France at 17.6% were the only nations with higher figures in the carcase swabs. No incidents of infection were recorded on swab samples from Slovenia and Sweden.

Scottish Pig Producers managing director Gordon McKen was not surprised by the UK figure, adding that if based on England alone it would be significantly higher.

Mr McKen said Scotland had for three years been tackling salmonella in the pig herd and had managed to reduce infection levels to around 8-9%.

Mr McKen said Scotland’s aim was to eradicate the bacteria from farms.

Industry was itself tackling farms where results showed salmonella levels more than 10% in meat juice tests.

“I am quite sure we can push the figure down below 5%,” he added.

Efsa said intervention by other member states could lower levels further.

It also reminded consumers of the need for the safe handling of raw meat and thorough cooking to minimise human health risks.

View the Press and Journal story by clicking here.

5m Editor