Protecting Chickens from Salmonella Starts With the EggBy Jill Lee
ATHENS, Ga., Dec. 8--A simple three-step process can help poultry producers keep Salmonella and other food pathogens out of poultry--and may increase profits. It all begins with the egg, according to scientists at the Agricultural Research Service.
Three simple steps will reduce the Salmonella threat for egg-hatching and poultry-production operations," said ARS microbiologist Mark Berrang. "The steps involve cleaning the eggs, treating chicks with a safe spray and using beneficial microbes to protect growing birds.
Taking these measures can also net higher prices for those who produce fertile eggs for meat production, said Berrang, at the agencys Richard B. Russell Agricultural Research Center in Athens, Ga.
Berrang outlined the steps as follows:
Working with a farmer, Berrang confirmed the effectiveness of the first step. This producer found cleaning and disinfecting eggs paid for itself. That's because more of the eggs would could be sold at a higher price. A dozen clean hatching eggs sell for about 30 cents. Dirty or stained eggs sell for only about 7 cents a dozen for use in pasteurized egg products.
The difference can be important to a producers pocketbook. ARS scientists estimate that a large-scale farm selling millions of eggs annually could recover the cost of the spraying equipment in two years.
Scientific contact: Mark Berrang, ARS Richard B. Russell Agricultural Research Center, Poultry Processing and Meat Quality Research Unit , Athens, Ga., phone (706) 546-3551, fax (706) 546-3633, firstname.lastname@example.org