The objective of this study was to determine Salmonella numbers on retail raw chicken carcasses in Guatemala and to phenotypically characterize the isolates (serotyping and antibiotic susceptibility). In total, 300 chicken carcasses were collected from seven departments in Guatemala. Salmonella numbers were determined using the most-probable-number method following the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service protocol. In total, 103 isolates were obtained, all of which were tested for antibiotic susceptibility, whereas 46 isolates were serotyped. Overall, Salmonella prevalence and mean number (mean log most probable number per carcass) was 34.3% and 2.3 (95% confidence interval: 2.1 to 2.5), respectively. Significant differences (P < 0.05) in Salmonella prevalence were found by storage condition (refrigerated or ambient temperature), market type (wet markets, supermarkets, and independent poultry stores), chicken production system (integrated or nonintegrated production company), and chicken skin color (white or yellow). Chickens produced by integrated companies had lower Salmonella numbers (P < 0.05) than nonintegrated companies, and white-skin carcasses had lower numbers (P < 0.05) than yellow-skin carcasses. Among 13 different Salmonella serovars identified, Paratyphi B (34.8%) was most prevalent, followed by Heidelberg (16.3%) and Derby (11.6%). Of all the Salmonella isolates, 59.2% were resistant to one to three antibiotics and 13.6% to four or more antibiotics. Among all the serovars obtained, Salmonella Paratyphi B and Heidelberg were the most resistant to the antibiotics tested. Salmonella levels and antibiotic resistant profiles among isolates from raw poultry at the retail market level were high relative to other reports from North and South America. These data can be used by Guatemalan stakeholders to develop risk assessment models and support further research opportunities to control transmission of Salmonella spp. and antibiotic-resistant isolates from chicken meat to humans.

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