Salmonella monitoring at the abattoir

Danish pork has one of the world's lowest occurrence of salmonella at just over 1%. This low level is due to a strict control where each day, all abattoirs perform testing of the occurrence of salmonella.

Salmonella is an intestinal bacterium that can be found in wild fauna (wildlife in a certain area) and in animals yielding marketable produce and therefore, salmonella can be isolated from the environment. During the slaughtering process, there is a risk of transferring the bacterium from the oral cavity or the intestinal canal to the carcass.

Hygiene control from many directions
Good hygiene is the principal element for food safety and thereby also for the monitoring of salmonella at the abattoirs. The hygiene at the abattoirs is inspected on an ongoing basis, partly in the form of self-control and daily inspections and partly through the authorities’ examination of the companies. Finally, regular inspections are made of customers and receiving countries.

Danish action plan against salmonella since 1993
The first monitoring of salmonella in pork was launched in 1993 and the present monitoring was implemented in 2001. At the abattoirs, samples are taken each day of five carcasses that are examined for salmonella. In total, more than 18,000 samples are taken from carcasses each year.

The results are examined on an ongoing basis and if more than one positive sample is found in the previous 11 slaughtering days, the abattoir must try to clarify the reason.

At the launching of the action plan in 1993, there were 1,144 cases of salmonella infection in humans attributed to Danish pork. The figures are now between 100 and 200 cases each year. This fantastic reduction is attributed to the action plans against salmonella.

The occurrence of salmonella in Danish pork is just over 1%.

Read more:

Annual report on zoonoses