Salmonella Source in Finnish Feed Found

FINLAND - The source of salmonella outbreak linked to a Raisio Feed mill has been traced to a cooling system.
calendar icon 30 March 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

The cause of the recent salmonella outbreak that has hit Finnish pig and poultry farms has been found at a factory of the feed producer, Raisio Feed, according to Helsingin Sanomat. The salmonella bacteria that infected the feed produced at the factory was pinpointed to the cooling system of the production line.

Raisio Feed has promised to bear full responsibility and compensate for the damage caused.

According to a statement put out by the company, officials have not suggested that Raisio Feed had been negligent or made mistakes. The soybeans brought to the factory from abroad, which were used as raw material for the feed, had been found clean.

The cooling system had already been cleaned along with the rest of the factory last week. Now technical improvements are to be made. The company says that as a responsible player it supports tighter control of imported raw materials, and control of the processes from the factory all the way to the farm.

While consumers have not been in any danger at any stage of the outbreak, the company has apologised to all who have been affected by the events.

On 25 March, four more egg farms in Finland were found to have been contaminated with salmonella, raising the total number to 27. In addition, salmonella was found in two pig farms, making a total of nine in all that have been affected.

Finland has a total of 1,100 farms that produce eggs, and 2,500 farms specialised in raising pork. Samples of a total of 800 egg farms and pig farms are to be analysed in connection with the salmonella epidemic.

Some of the faecal samples will be studied by the Finnish Food Safety Authority (EVIRA), and some in local laboratories.

It takes at least a week from the initial taking of a sample before a salmonella infection can be determined, continues the report in Helsingin Sanomat. At present, 73 per cent of egg farms have been investigated, and 13 per cent were found to have been infected with salmonella. If all of Finland's egg farms are included, then salmonella has been found in just over two per cent of them.

Already, 73 per cent of pork farms have been investigated, and salmonella has been detected in two per cent of them, which amounts to one half of one per cent of all pork farms in Finland.

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