Food animal producers have ethical obligations to reduce the risk of foodborne hazards in animals under their care. Contaminated feed is a recognized source of Salmonella infection of food animals and regulations to control Salmonella contamination of animal feed have existed in some countries for decades. The impact of reducing Salmonella contamination of animal feeds on the risk of human foodborne salmonellosis is difficult to assess, and is likely to vary among food animal industries. In the context of U.S. pork production, factors that may attenuate or negate the impact (on public health) of regulatory interventions to control Salmonella in commercial feed include widespread use of on-farm mixing of swine feed; incomplete decontamination of feed during processing; post-processing contamination of feed at feed mills or in transportation or on-farm storage; the multitude of nonfeed sources of Salmonella infection; an apparently high risk of post-farm infection in lairage; and post-harvest sources of contamination. A structured survey of the extent of Salmonella contamination of animal feed in the United States is necessary to enable more informed debate on the feasibility and likely efficacy of enforcing a Salmonella-negative standard for animal feeds to reduce the incidence of human salmonellosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Animal Science and Zoology