Exploring salmonella and the microbiota in lymph nodes of cattle presented for slaughter

Project Details

Status: Completed
Investment: $30,000
Commodity: Beef Cattle
Organization: Beef Cattle Research Council
Investigator: Cassidy Klima

Salmonella is one of the top ranked foodborne pathogens in North America and ground beef is often implicated in outbreaks associated with Salmonella.

Why is this research important for Alberta ag?

Salmonella is one of the top ranked foodborne pathogens in North America and ground beef is often implicated in outbreaks associated with Salmonella. The organism can colonize the gastrointestinal tracts as well lymphatic tissues of animals, the latter of which owes to their ability to invade host immunity systems. Lymph nodes are often located in fatty tissues and are not removed during the meat fabrication process. Thus, they can be incorporated to ground beef. Salmonella has been found at various levels in lymph nodes of healthy cattle presented for slaughter in US and Mexico.

Data and information on the prevalence of Salmonella or other pathogens in lymph nodes of Canadian cattle presented for slaughter is largely lacking. The proposed work will utilize metagenomics analysis to examine the entire microbiota of lymph nodes. The information generated from this research project would allow initial assessment of food safety risks of lymph nodes in healthy Canadian cattle.

What benefits can producers expect from this research?

This study looks to provide baseline information about the microbiome of lymph tissues obtained from samples representative of normative cattle processed for consumption in Canada. This research project is intended to support the development of genome sequencing based strategies for use in food safety surveillance in Canada.

Outcomes from this project will work to ensure consumer confidence, beef quality and food safety continue to be a cornerstone for Canada’s National Beef Strategy. Consequently, pursing advancements in the science of food borne surveillance is foundational to maintain Canada’s beef brand. This initiative will reinforce the competitiveness of the Canadian beef industry by supporting the evolution and growth of quality assurance and food safety systems in Canada.

How will these research findings reach producers on-farm?

The results from this work will be presented to stakeholders at the CCA annual general and semi-annual meetings and made public through presentations at meetings like the Canadian Beef Industry Conference. Findings may also be presented in producer magazines such as the Western Producer or Beef Magazine or Canadian Cattlemen. Researchers will also work with the BCRC to distribute fact sheets and other extension materials to their networks, website and blog.

Funded in part by the Government of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

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