Prevalence of Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes at small-scale spanish factories producing traditional fermented sausages

Belen Martin, Margarita Garriga, Teresa Aymerich
Journal of Food Protection 2011, 74 (5): 812-5
The manufacturing of fermented sausages is subject to natural contamination processes that can potentially carry foodborne pathogens along the process chain and result in contamination of the final product. The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes at different sampling points during the manufacturing process of fuet, a type of traditional fermented sausage, at 10 small-scale Spanish factories. The presence of both pathogens was studied in the raw materials (19 casings and 19 meat batters), the final products (19 fermented sausages), and the factory equipment (12 mincing, 12 mixing, and 19 stuffing machines, 19 cutting tables, 11 knives, and 12 cold rooms) by using classical microbiological techniques and real-time PCR. Salmonella was not detected in the equipment analyzed or in the final products, but it was detected in the raw materials (23.7% of samples). L. monocytogenes showed higher incidence than Salmonella and was detected in the equipment (11.8% of samples), the raw materials (28.9%), and the final products (15.8%), confirming its ubiquity throughout the manufacturing process of fermented sausages. Five factories were further investigated to study the changes in the distribution of pathogens in the fuet production process over a period of either 2 or 3 years. There was considerable variation in the incidence of both pathogens at different sampling periods, and there was no relation between seasonal variations or geographic location of the factories.

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