Submitted to: Proceedings of the Western Nutrition Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 30, 2004
Publication Date: October 4, 2004
Citation: Callaway, T.R., Anderson, R.C., Edrington, T.S., Genovese, K.J., Byrd II, J.A., Poole, T.L., Nisbet, D.J. 2004. Sodium chlorate: Potential food-borne pathogen reduction strategy for use in ruminant and monogastric food animals. Proceedings of 25th Annual Western Nutrition Conference. 25:205-215. Technical Abstract: Ruminant animals can be colonized by a wide variety of bacteria, including potential human pathogens. Consumers exposed to food products derived from contaminated animals can and do fall ill. Even though ruminants are carriers of food-borne pathogenic bacteria, these bacteria often do not cause illness or a loss of production efficiency in the animal, thus cannot be detected easily. Therefore, as pathogenic bacteria carried within food animals enter the abattoir, they can be carried forward throughout the food chain. Strategies aimed at preventing the entry of food-borne pathogens into the food chain are a crucial step in improving food safety. Sodium chlorate specifically kills bacteria equipped with a dissimilatory nitrate reductase, such as E. coli and Salmonella; bacteria without this enzyme are unaffected by chlorate. Therefore, it has been suggested that chlorate be used to specifically reduce populations of certain pathogenic bacteria in the intestinal tract of food animals. Chlorate has been used experimentally in monogastric and ruminant animals to reduce food-borne pathogens in vivo. Use of chlorate in food animals does not appear to enhance the risk of antibiotic resistance or selection for chlorate-resistant strains. Based on the available information, it appears that chlorate could be an effective method to reduce food borne pathogenic bacteria (e.g., E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella) in food animals.