The quantity of Salmonella recoverable from three lairage pens in a swine abattoir was determined. Using dry four-ply cotton gauze pads measuring 10 by 10 cm, 100 fecal slurry samples were collected from each of the three pens. Salmonella recovery was expressed as the log CFU per milliliter of sample. Mean values were 2.5 log CFU/ml in pen A, 2.7 log CFU/ ml in pen B, and 0.89 log CFU/ml in pen C. Median values were 2.6 log CFU/ml in pen A, 2.0 log CFU/ml in pen B, and below the detectable limit in pen C. In pen C, Salmonella was not recoverable from a high number of samples. Pen B results suggested spatial dependency, i.e., samples close together were more similar than samples farther apart. These results indicate that Salmonella concentrations vary within and between lairage pens. Because of the limited number of pens assessed, it was not possible to identify factors that were associated with the observed variation in Salmonella concentrations within and between pens. However, this variation suggests that numerous samples are required to adequately describe the concentration of Salmonella in a lairage pen.
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