The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has carried out a
study on Salmonella in German turkey stocks as a part of an EU-wide monitoring
Upon completion, the EU will use the results to draw-up European-wide
and country-specific campaigns to reduce Salmonella in turkeys.
The study revealed that around 10% of fattening turkey flocks examined
showed signs of Salmonella. In contrast, the breeding turkey flocks were free of
"For the purposes of precautionary consumer protection, the control of
Salmonella must, therefore, already begin at the breeding and fattening stages
of food-producing animals," said Prof Dr Hensel, president of the
In the turkey study 300 fattening turkey flocks and 98 breeding turkey
flocks were examined. Five collective faecal samples from each flock were
examined for Salmonella. The bacteria was not detected in any of the samples
from the breeding turkey flocks. The situation was different in the case of the
fattening turkeys. Salmonella was detected in at least one sample from 31 out of
the 300 fattening turkey flocks (10.3%).
Twelve different Salmonella sub-groups were found in the laboratory, the
most common being Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium. Salmonella
enteritidis was only detected in one flock, Salmonella typhimurium in eight
Overall, the results showed that both fattening pigs and chickens are
potential sources of infection for humans.
At the slaughtering stage, Salmonella from infected animals can remain in
the meat products produced. For this reason, hygiene is imperative at
slaughterhouses and processing facilities. The European Food Safety Authority
will gather the results from all participating countries in order to coordinate
further action plans.
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