Baseline of salmonella prevalence in retail beef and produce from Honduras and Mexico
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Salmonella is a common cause of food-borne illness worldwide, especially with must recent outbreaks. The sources of these outbreaks include contaminated animal products, including raw or undercooked meat as well as contaminated produce. The objective of the current study was 1) to develop a baseline for the prevalence and identification of Salmonella in beef and produce in Honduras, and produce in Mexico; and 2) to identify Salmonella serotypes in both Honduras and Mexico. A total of 393 retail whole muscle beef cuts samples and 383 produce samples (cantaloupes, cilantro, cucumbers, leafy greens, peppers, and tomatoes) were collected from major cities in different regions in Honduras in 4 different trips. A total of 514 produce samples were collected from major cities in Mexico in 6 different trips. Produce types and analysis followed the same as in Honduras. All retail beef and produce samples were tested using the BAX® System PCR Assay for Salmonella detection, with positive samples isolated for Salmonella using traditional cultural methods. Positive isolates were agglutinated and prepared for serotyping. Overall, the prevalence of Salmonella-positive samples in Honduras (N = 393) retail beef resulted in 5.9% with a 95% CI [3.9, 8.7]. Whereas positive beef carcass swabs was 7.8% in both beef plants in Honduras (11/141). The most common serotypes identified in Honduras were Salmonella serotype Typhimurium followed by Salmonella serotype Derby. The overall prevalence of Salmonella in Honduras produce (N 383) was 2.4% with a 95% CI [1.2, 4.5]. Overall, the prevalence of Salmonella-positive samples in Mexico (N = 514) produce resulted in 2.1% with a 95% CI [1.2, 3.8]. The most common serotype identified in Mexico was Salmonella serotype Meleagridis. Other serotypes found in Mexico were Typhimurium, Kentucky, and Newport.