Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 30, 2002
Publication Date: July 1, 2002
Citation: Berrang, M.E., Northcutt, J.K., Fletcher, D.L., Cox Jr, N.A. 2002. Role of transport coop fecal contamination in the transfer of campylobacter to carcasses of previously negative broilers. [abstract] Poultry Science. 81(suppl.1):47-48. Technical Abstract: This study was undertaken to assess the potential for broiler carcass contamination with Campylobacter due to exposure of the live bird to a contaminated transport coop. Broilers were obtained from commercial grow-out houses that had been previously identified as either Campylobacter positive or negative by culturing feces. After four hours off feed, broilers from a Campylobacter positive house were placed at commercial density into three openings of a new un-used transport coop. These positive broilers remained in the transport coop for an additional 8 hours. When broilers from the positive house were removed from the coop and processed, broilers from the Campylobacter negative house were placed into the same openings of the transport coop. Broilers from the negative house were allowed to remain in the transport coop exposed to the feces of the previous occupants for 2, 4, or 6 hours before being removed and processed in a pilot plant. In two replications, ten defeathered carcasses from each group were rinsed and the rinses were cultured for Campylobacter. The pilot plant was cleaned and sanitized between batches of broilers. Control carcasses were rinsed and cultured for Campylobacter; no evidence of cross contamination was found. After two hours exposure to contaminated feces, 12/20 carcasses of previously negative broilers were found to be positive for Campylobacter. After four hours exposure to contaminated feces, 11/20 carcasses were positive, while six hours of exposure resulted in 14/20 carcasses positive. Following placement in contaminated transport coops, previously uncontaminated broilers can result in Campylobacter positive processed carcasses.