Occurrence of Salmonella on meat and products in an ostrich abattoir as determined with a DNA probe

Author: J.M. Gopo and G.N. Banda
Year: 1997
Issue: 1
Volume: 27
Page: 1 - 6

This study was conducted to determine the status of Salmonella during the processing of ostriches to ostrich meat and products. When a total of 1429 samples, collected from fillet, liver, gizzards, blood meal, skins, heart, faeces, large and small intestines, carcasses, wash-water from feathers and from carcasses, water before wash and other sources during the ostrich processing, were screened for Salmonella spp. using a Salmonella specific DNA probe, the results showed that 16.9% of the samples were positive for presence of Salmonella. Further analysis showed that (61/120) 50.8% of all the ostriches tested were positive for Salmonella upon arrival at the slaughter house. These results further showed that 33.3% of the carcasses tested were positive for Salmonella. This indicated that the ostriches might have been contaminated at the rearing farm environment, during transportation or even at the abattoir environment itself. The products, which were Salmonella positive, were: gizzards (5%); the skins (8.3%); blood meal (4.2%; large intestines (26.2%; small intestines (16.1% and faeces (44.2%). Products, which were negative for Salmonella presence included: heart tissue, liver, fillet steak and meat-and-bone-meal. When the positive samples were further analysed to determine the level of bacterial concentrations in each positive sample, the results showed that the main ostrich products for export, such as ostrich meat, meat and bone-meal and ostrich fillet were negative for Salmonella. The only export products that showed Salmonella presence, were the skins with only an 8.3% positivity rate. The bacterial concentrations in the positive skin samples were so low that Salmonella contamination in this product is probably eliminated through further processing, such as tanning before export of this product.

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