Risk associated with transportation and lairage on hide contamination with Salmonella enterica in finished beef cattle at slaughter.

Dewell GA, Simpson CA, Dewell RD, Hyatt DR, Belk KE, Scanga JA, Morley PS, Grandin T, Smith GC, Dargatz DA, Wagner BA, Salman MD.

Transportation of cattle to the slaughter plant could influence hide contamination with Salmonella enterica. Fecal and hide samples were obtained from 40 lots of cattle at the feedlot and again at the slaughter plant. Potential risk factors for hide contamination were evaluated. A multilevel Poisson regression model was used to determine whether transportation and lairage were associated with hide contamination by Salmonella. Cattle with hide samples positive for Salmonella at the feedlot had twice the risk of having positive slaughter hide samples compared with cattle without positive feedlot hide samples (relative risk [RR], 1.9). Cattle transported in trailers from which samples positive for Salmonella were collected had twice the risk of having positive slaughter hide samples compared with cattle transported in culture-negative trailers (RR, 2.3). Cattle transported for long distances had twice the risk of having positive hide samples at slaughter compared with cattle transported shorter distances (RR, 2.3). Cattle held in lairage pens contaminated with feces had twice the risk of having positive slaughter hide samples compared with cattle held in clean pens (RR, 1.8). Cattle held off feed longer than 18 h before loading had twice the risk of having positive slaughter hide samples compared with cattle held off feed for shorter times (RR, 1.7). Cattle that were agitated during loading had twice the risk of having positive slaughter hide samples compared with cattle that were calm (RR, 2.2). These findings suggest that variables associated with transportation and lairage can impact the presence of Salmonella on the hides of cattle at slaughter.

Authors

Paul Morley
Keith Belk

Citation

Dewell GA, Simpson CA, Dewell RD, Hyatt DR, Belk KE, Scanga JA, Morley PS, Grandin T, Smith GC, Dargatz DA, Wagner BA, Salman MD. Risk associated with transportation and lairage on hide contamination with Salmonella enterica in finished beef cattle at slaughter. J Food Prot. 2008 Nov;71(11):2228-32.