[Parasites in meat: a challenge for veterinarians in meat hygiene].Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2004 Jul; 111(7):277-81.DT
Meat hygiene is an important instrument of preventive public health since the end of the nineteenth century. The methods used during ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection are partly quite traditional. This is in particular true for the identification of parasites in meat. The aim of this review was to present facts on aetiology, prevalence and importance of meat-borne parasitic hazards. The capacity and the limits of the ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection for the identification of parasitic hazards are considered. Further, suggestions for the improvement of the meat hygiene are given. Cysticercosis, Toxoplasmosis and Sarcocystosis are exposed in detail. With regard to Cysticercosis, the integration of serological methods in the inspection procedure could result in a tenfold improvement of diagnostical sensitivity. With regard to Toxoplasmosis, it is obvious that meat containing Toxoplasma-cysts may reach the consumer, as animals infected with Toxoplasma gondii can neither be recognised in the ante-mortem inspection nor in the meat inspection. Systematical serological investigations on farm level would allow an appropriate judgement during meat inspection and minimize the consumer exposure to this parasite. Further, reliable methods for the detection of Toxoplasma-cysts have to be developed. With regard to Sarcocystosis, the compulsory inspection of the muscle surfaces to recognise a "massive infection with Sarcocystis" is very doubtful in its interpretation. There is a need for suitable microscopic, serological and molecular biological methods for the detection of Sarcocystis-species and reliable informations on the seroprevalence of the parasite in slaughtering animals.