Technical specifications for harmonised national surveys on Yersinia enterocolitica in slaughter pigs

Pigs, monitoring, national survey, tonsils, Yersinia enterocolitica
First published in the EFSA Journal
11 November 2009
30 October 2009
Scientific Report of EFSA


Technical specifications are proposed for the harmonised monitoring and reporting of Yersinia enterocolitica in
slaughter pigs in European Union Member States in accordance with Directive 2003/99/EC (EC, 2003). The aim
of the technical specifications is to facilitate a better understanding of the situation in Member States and enable
harmonised monitoring. According to a risk-based sampling strategy, the technical specifications describe the
complete survey, aiming at the estimation at slaughter of the preliminary prevalence of Yersinia enterocolitica
contamination in the tonsils of slaughter pigs with a live weight of between 50 kg and 170 kg, originating from
all rearing systems. It is suggested that monitoring be carried out every three or four years in each Member
State, depending on the prioritisation based on the epidemiological situation in the Member State. Taking into
account public health relevance, the proposal focuses primarily on the estimation of the prevalence of human
pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica types, identified by biotype that represents the pathogenicity of Yersinia
enterocolitica. The standardised ISO 10273:2003 method (ISO, 2003) or the direct plating method is
recommended for the detection of presumptive pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica. Biotyping and serotyping of
all isolated strains is necessary. Specifications are also given for the reporting of information on the monitoring
of Yersinia enterocolitica in the annual zoonoses reports to be prepared by Member States.

European Food Safety Authority
zoonoses [at]
EFSA Journal 2009; 7(11):1374
Question Number
On request from
European Food Safety Authority