Salmonella in Cattle Abattoirs in Costa Rica

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  • Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Louisiana State Board of Health, Division of Laboratories, Louisiana State University, International Center for Medical Research and Training, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, Costa Rica

Salmonella organisms were sought in five Costa Rican cattle abattoirs whose products are approved for export to the United States. No Salmonella were found in samples of cattle feces. From one sample of meat, Salmonella saint paul was isolated. Five samples of meat from each of two slaughterhouses yielded multiple isolations of other enteric bacteria. Swabs taken from equipment, floors and walls, and workers' clothing in the five abattoirs were all negative for Salmonella spp. From floor-drain swabs collected from four of the five plants, Salmonella group E1 was isolated. Fecal samples from workers in two of the five plants were tested for Salmonella spp.; there were seven isolations from one plant and none from the others.