Submitted to: Institute of Food Technologies
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 2004
Publication Date: July 16, 2004
Citation: Gast, R.K. 2004. Detection and Control of Salmonella Enteritidis in Egg Laying Chickens. Institute of Food Technologies Proceedings, p.235, 2004. Technical Abstract: The transmission of Salmonella enteritidis infection to humans by contaminated eggs has been an internationally significant public health problem for nearly two decades. The microbiology of eggs and egg products has accordingly become a topic of considerable interest to government regulatory agencies and to the poultry industry. Systemic infection of laying hens with S. enteritidis can sometimes lead to deposition of the pathogen inside developing eggs, although typically at a very low incidence and involving rather small numbers of bacterial cells. In recent years, diverse risk reduction (microbial quality assurance) programs have been developed and implemented to control S. enteritidis in poultry and eggs. Common features of such programs include using chicks from demonstrably uninfected source flocks, effective control of rodents and other pests in poultry houses, thorough cleaning and disinfection of houses between flocks, heightened biosecurity practices throughout poultry farms, and adequate washing and prompt refrigeration of eggs. Most S. enteritidis control programs include provisions to test flocks to certify compliance with risk reduction practices and to verify the ongoing effectiveness of these practices. Vaccination, with both killed and live products, has also been used effectively to reduce the prevalence of S. enteritidis infection in laying flocks. In combination with intensified efforts to ensure that eggs will be handled, prepared, and consumed safely, widespread participation in risk reduction programs may be the most cost-effective strategy for achieving long-term reductions in the incidence of egg-transmitted illness due to S. enteritidis.