Pathogens of interest to the pork industry: A review of research on interventions to assure food safety

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Pork is the most consumed meat in the world and is a source of foodborne diseases. To develop effective food safety interventions for pork, it is crucial to understand the nature of the important pathogens affecting the pork industry, their prevalence at different phases of pork production, and interventions against pathogens in pork. The purpose of this study was to outline the significance of Salmonella, Campylobacter, Trichinella spiralis, Toxoplasma gondii, Listeria monocytogenes, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus to the pork industry. Trichinella and Toxoplasma are historically relevant pathogens to pork and represent the effectiveness that preharvest intervention strategies can accomplish for the control of toxoplasmosis and trichinellosis. Salmonella and Campylobacter are common inhabitants of swine intestines causing a high prevalence of these pathogens on the farm as well as potential contamination during slaughter. However, both Salmonella and Campylobacter can be reduced through on-farm strategies, hygienic slaughter practices, and processing technologies. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus is an emerging pathogen with increasing focus on the livestock industry and interventions pre and postharvest have been considered for reduction of this microorganism. The greatest challenge for processors is L. monocytogenes as contamination of the further processing environment requires adequate interventions for both pork and the environment. Novel technologies such as use of bacteriophages, feed additives, and high-pressure processing are being explored as interventions against pathogens of pork. Overall, pork does contribute to foodborne diseases and various interventions are now being used against the different pathogens found in pork.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-217
Number of pages35
JournalComprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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