The objective of the present study was to analyze the prevalence of Salmonella in multiple food commodities in China by performing a meta-analysis. Accordingly, we screened studies that examined the prevalence of Salmonella in PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science databases. Methodological quality assessment and heterogeneity analyses were performed for included studies. The prevalence rate with the 95% confidence interval (95% CI) was selected as the effect size. Subgroup analyses for each food type were conducted and then stratified by regions, food-chain processing points, and seasons. In total, 49 studies were included in the meta-analysis, among them, 8 (16.3%) studies were deemed “High risk”, 13 (26.5%) studies were “Unclear risk”, and 28 (57.2%) studies were “Low risk”. The overall prevalence rate of Salmonella was 20.0 (95%CI: 15.9-24.4)%. The prevalence rate of Salmonella in raw meat products was 23.6 (95%CI: 19.8-27.6)%, which was higher than that in aquatic products (13.7 [95%CI: 3.1-29.9]%), milk products (0.9 [95%CI: 0.0-3.9]%), frozen convenience foods (6.5 [95%CI: 4.4-8.9]%), ready-to-eat foods (2.0 [95%CI: 1.1-3.2]%), vegetables and fruits (0.9 [95%CI: 0.0-5.2]%), and shell eggs (4.2 [95%CI: 3.0-5.7]%). Subgroup analyses revealed that prevalence rates of Salmonella in raw meat products from abattoirs (26.3 [95%CI: 17.4-36.3]%) and retail stores (30.0 [95%CI: 24.6-35.8]%) were higher than those determined from farms (10.2 [95%CI: 7.0-13.9)%; P < 0.05); however, no significant difference was observed in the prevalence of Salmonella stratified by different geographical regions or seasons (P > 0.05). Based on these findings, high levels of Salmonella contamination could be detected in raw meat products in China, and the prevalence rate of Salmonella in raw meat products from abattoirs and retail stores was high.

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