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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Water Spray and Extended Dry Time to Lower Bacterial Numbers on Soiled Flooring from Broiler Transport Cages

item Berrang, Mark
item Northcutt, Julie

Submitted to: International Association for Food Protection Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 24, 2005
Publication Date: January 24, 2005
Citation: Berrang, M.E., Northcutt, J.K. 2005. Water spray and extended dry time to lower bacterial numbers on soiled flooring from broiler transport cages. International Association for Food Protection Proceedings. August 14-17, 2005. Baltimore, MD.

Technical Abstract: Broiler transport cages soiled with Campylobacter positive feces have been demonstrated to result in cross contamination of processed broiler carcasses. Washing and sanitizing cage surfaces does not always effectively eliminate bacteria. The objective of this study was to examine drying as a means to lower bacterial numbers on transport cage flooring. Small squares (5 X 5 cm) of fiberglass flooring from transport cages were intentionally contaminated with 1 g of Campylobacter positive broiler gut contents. Soiled floor squares were sprayed with water and allowed to dry for 0.25, 24 or 48 hours. Un-sprayed squares were examined at each time period as controls. All squares were sampled by cotton tipped applicators which were cultured for Campylobacter, coliforms and E. coli. Sampling un-sprayed squares at 0.25 hours yielded 7.3 log cfu Campylobacter, 6.2 log cfu coliform and 5.9 log cfu E. coli. Water spray alone resulted in a significant decrease in the number of organisms recovered: 4.1 log cfu Campylobacter, 3.6 log cfu coliform and 3.2 log cfu E. coli. When water spray was followed by a 24 hour drying period, no Campylobacter, coliforms or E. coli were detected on the floor surface. However, allowing un-sprayed soiled flooring to simply dry for 24 or 48 hours also resulted in no recovery of Campylobacter and very low numbers of coliforms and E. coli. A 24 or 48 hour drying period for fecal matter on broiler transport cage flooring may be a viable method to lower bacterial numbers on these surfaces.

Last Modified: 4/19/2015