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Torres G.J.,Subdireccion General de Conservacion de | Piquer F.J.,Subdireccion General de Conservacion de | Algarra L.,Subdireccion General de Conservacion de | de Frutos C.,National Reference Laboratory for Salmonellosis in Animals and Feed | Sobrino O.J.,Subdireccion General de Conservacion de
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2011

A cross-sectional study was conducted in Spain to estimate the prevalence of Salmonella enterica in feed mills and to identify and evaluate potential risk factors associated with feed contamination. A total of 3844 samples were collected from 523 different feed mills using a stratified sampling method. Samples were tested for the presence of Salmonella using conventional culture methods. When the presence of Salmonella was detected, samples were further characterised using serotyping at the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for animal feed. Additional data about the biosecurity and hygiene measures, feed material used and compound feed produced, were collected by official veterinarians using a questionnaire in situ. In 144 of the feed mills visited (28%), Salmonella were present. However, it was only isolated from 4.8% of samples taken from all of the feed mills (3.5% from feed materials, 3.2% from compound feed and 12.5% from dust of the feed mill facilities). Salmonella serovars of public health importance (Enteritidis, Typhimurium, Infantis, Virchow and Hadar), were detected in only 2.7% of feed mills and in 0.3% of the samples studied. Logistic regression was used to investigate potential feed-mill risk factors for the isolation of Salmonella. Feed mill intake pits were demonstrated to have an increased risk of culture-positive dust samples (OR = 6.4; 95% CI: 2.7-15.1). The feed material used in the production of compound feed was associated with recovery of Salmonella. Of the feed material used, cotton seeds were identified as having the highest odds of contamination (OR = 3.8; 95% CI: 1.7-8.3). Pelleting appears to reduce the chance of contamination because non-pelleted compound feed is 8 times more likely to be contaminated than pelleted compound feed (OR = 8.2; 95% CI: 2.5-26.6). The role of the feed itself in the epidemiology of Salmonella seems to be of limited importance as compound feed is not frequently contaminated at the feed mill level. This should not preclude Salmonella control measures from including all stages of feed production and they should have a risk-based approach according to the findings of this study. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

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