The aim of this study was to conduct a preliminary investigation on the occurrence of Salmonella spp. in eggs from chickens raised in backyards in Portugal and Romania. A lack of compliance with safety practices by chicken owners was demonstrated, especially in Portugal, as 96% of the eggs were visibly dirty and 92.5% were stored at room temperature. In Romania, the 202 analysed eggs were Salmonella free, whereas in Portugal six of the 200 eggs sampled were positive for Salmonella spp. (3%). A positive egg for Salmonella spp. was found in 10.7% of the 56 backyard flocks sampled in Portugal. One egg exhibited contamination both in the shell-membrane mixture and in its content, while in the remaining eggs, the pathogen was found either in the shell-membrane or in the yolk and white mixture. The serotypes S. Typhimurium (with identical PFGE patterns) and S. Enteritidis were isolated from five eggs and one egg, respectively. Whilst S. Enteritidis was sensitive to the 14 antibiotics tested, S. Typhimurium isolates presented divergent antimicrobial resistant phenotypes and three were classified as multi-drug resistant.

The paper, which is entitled Occurrence of Salmonella spp. in eggs from backyard chicken flocks in Portugal and Romania, a preliminary study is published in Food Control, the official scientific journal of the European Federation of Food Science and Technology (EFFoST) and the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST), an international journal that provides essential information for those involved in food safety and process control and has an impact factor of 4.248.

The authorship belongs to Vânia Ferreira (first author), Maria João Cardoso, Rui Magalhães and Paula Teixeira (corresponding author) from Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Porto, Portugal, Rui Maia from the UFP Energy, Environment and Health Research Unit, University Fernando Pessoa, Porto, Portugal, and Corina Neagu, Loredana Dumitraşcu, Anca Ioana Nicolau from the Faculty of Food Science and Engineering from the University Dunarea de Jos of Galati, Romania.

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