Occurrence and traceability of Salmonella spp. in five Sardinian fermented sausage facilities

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Francesca Piras
Carlo Spanu *
Anna Maria Mocci
Mariella Demontis
Enrico Petro Luigi De Santis
Christian Scarano
(*) Corresponding Author:
Carlo Spanu | cspanu@uniss.it

Abstract

The aims of the present study were to evaluate the presence of Salmonella in five fermented sausage processing plants and their products during the production process, and to trace the possible sources of contamination. A total of 270 samples were collected: mixture of ground pork meat and fat, products at the end of acidification, sausages at the end of ripening and, during production stages, surfaces in contact with meat and surfaces not in contact with meat. For samples of ground meat, product at the end of acidification and sausages at the end of ripening, the pH and water activity (aw), were determined. All the samples were tested for the presence of Salmonella. Thirtytwo Salmonella isolates were obtained, subjected to serotyping and PFGE. The sausages at the end of ripening pH and aw mean values were 5.39±0.24 and 0.91±0.03, respectively. Salmonella was detected in three processing plants with an overall prevalence of 16.7% in food samples and 5.8% in environmental samples. Salmonella prevalence was 24% in ground meat and products at the end of acidification and was also detected in a sample of sausage at the end of ripening (2%). In environmental samples, Salmonella was detected in 6.6% of surfaces in contact with meat and 5% of surfaces not in contact with meat. Five serotypes were identified among 32 isolates: S. Derby (37.5%), S. Typhimurium and S. Rissen (both 25%), S. Give and monophasic S. Typhimurium (both 6.25%). Six different pulsotypes were obtained with PFGE. The serotypes and the PFGE pattern of the strains were specific for each facility with no overlapping between different processing plants. The same observation can be pointed out considering different sampling days for the same processing plants, thus presumably indicating the raw material (ground pork meat and fat) as the source of contamination. The detection of Salmonella in a sample of sausage at the end of ripening highlights the ability of the pathogen to survive during manufacturing process.


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