Study from Turkey Unveils Elevated Incidence of Salmonella in Poultry Meat

Study from Turkey Unveils Elevated Incidence of Salmonella in Poultry Meat
08.04.2024

A study in Turkey has found nearly 40 percent of chicken products sampled contained Salmonella.

Researchers investigated prevalence, antibiotic resistance, and genomic diversity of Salmonella in raw poultry meat products across Turkey.

A total of 293 samples were collected, including chicken breast, skinned drumstick, skinned chicken chop, wing, chicken offal, and chicken patty.

Samples came from different retail stores in Kayseri during 2019. They were collected at two-week intervals in all seasons of the year and were sourced from various brands and production facilities in the same week.

Results, published recently in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology, revealed 112 samples contained Salmonella, with five and one of the isolates identified as Salmonella Enteritidis and Typhimurium, respectively. Scientists said findings underscore the importance of continued monitoring and control measures in the poultry industry.

According to data from the Ministry of Health, the most frequent Salmonella serotype in Turkey between 2012 and 2016 was Salmonella Enteritidis.

Thirty-five of 90 chicken breast samples were positive, as well as 30 of 80 skinned drumstick and 17 of 42 skinned chicken chops. Salmonella was also found in a dozen wing samples, thirteen of 27 offal samples and five of 22 chicken patty samples. Three of five Salmonella Enteritidis isolates belonged to chicken chop samples with skin.

Need for monitoring and past incident
Multilocus sequence type ST11 was the only detected type among Salmonella Enteritidis isolates, while Salmonella Typhimurium belonged to the S19 MLST type. All six isolates carried at least one antimicrobial resistance gene.

Antibiotic resistance analysis revealed that all isolates were sensitive to Meropenem and Aztreonam, while the most resistant antibiotics were Doxycycline and Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. 

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Researchers said whole genome sequencing revealed distinct clones and antibiotic resistance patterns.

“The data obtained in the study reveal the continued importance of Salmonella monitoring for the poultry industry across different regions of Turkey to maintain food safety. The microbiological and epidemiological risks observed in mass production can be minimized, particularly by integrating epidemiological and molecular findings with an effective strategy.”

In July 2023, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said almost 250 Salmonella infections had been linked to travel to Turkey since the start of that year. Between January and July, there were 241 confirmed cases of Salmonella Enteritidis.

Of cases with available travel information, people reported staying in different hotels in Turkey and most ate a variety of foods at their hotel resort as part of an all-inclusive holiday package.

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) revealed some clusters were related, which indicates a likely common source of infection. As of late July 2023, the source of infection had not been found.

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