According to a new study published in the American Journal of Veterinary Medicine, the presence of visible lesions and abscesses on the bodies of pigs can help predict instances of Salmonella contamination. Analyzing data retrieved at a Midwestern pork-producing plant from 2005 to 2006, researchers at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine found that pigs with discernible lesions were 90 percent more likely to carry Salmonella pathogens. Researchers say lesions and other signs of low-grade infection can go undetected by the federal inspectors who examine slaughterhouse-bound pigs. As a result, contaminated animals can spread harmful pathogens to the food supply. In light of their findings, the study’s authors are advocating for a lesion-evaluation system aimed at decreasing instances of food-borne illness.
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