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The aim of the present study was to evaluate the sources of direct and cross-contamination by Salmonella spp. of swine meat at slaughterhouse. The study was carried out in 4 plants of Sardinia, where pigs of different origin (Regional, Nederland, Spain, France) were slaughtered. Two-hundred ninetyfour samples were examined for Salmonella spp.: samples of caecal material, tonsils and limphonodes, carcass and liver, from 67 pigs randomly selected, and 21 environmental samples were collected. A selection of strains were submitted to phenotypical identification (API ID32E) and serotyping (N.R.C. for Salmonellosis). Salmonella spp. was isolated from the 21,4% of samples, both from pigs and environmental samples. The highest prevalence was observed in limphonodes samples (37,3%), whereas the lowest on the carcasses (10,4%). Eight different serotypes were detected, the more common was S. Derby (67%), followed by S. Livingstone (8%) and S. Typhimurium (6,3%). The 8% of the strains were unknown serotype. Our preliminary results confirm the important role of pigs in the diffusion of Salmonella in the slaughterhouses. The recovering of unusual serotypes from liver surfaces and slaughterhouse environments, pointed out the importance of a better Good Slaughtering Practices application by the workers, in order to prevent the possibility of crosscontamination of raw meats.
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