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Research article2017Peer reviewedOpen access

Meat inspection of reindeer - a rich source of data for monitoring food safety and animal and environmental health in Sweden

Vågsholm, Ivar; Kautto, Arja Helena; Niskanen, Rauni


Background: ​This study scrutinized carcass conditions recorded in post mortem inspections (PMI) of reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus, L.) during 2015–2016 because of the importance for monitoring food safety and animal and environmental health threats.

Material and methods: PMI results were retrieved from the National Food Agency. A negative binomial regression model was applied. For actual parameters, incident risk rate (IRR) with confidence intervals was calculated.

Results and discussion: The number of conditions found in PMI varied widely between years and batches. The most common conditions (43 and 57% of all reindeer slaughtered in 2015 and 2016, respectively) derived from non-zoonotic parasites as the most abundant one, Hypoderma tarandi. Setaria sp. as well as both inflammatory processes and trauma were found in low prevalences. Further investigation of interactions with slaughterhouse size and inspector experience is needed. The conditions found rarely indicated food safety hazards and no epizooties or zoonoses have been recorded in the past two decades. Visual PMI with complementary sampling for specific hazards in slaughterhouses could thus be a helpful tool for monitoring the health and welfare of the reindeer population, the food safety risks with reindeer meat, and the status of the environment.

Published in

Infection Ecology & Epidemiology
2017, Volume: 7, number: 1, article number: 1340695

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      Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG2 End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

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