Title: Spray washing, absorbent corn starch powder and dry time to reduce bacterial numbers on soiled boiler transport cage flooring Authors
Submitted to: International Association for Food Protection Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 2, 2011
Publication Date: July 31, 2011
Citation: Berrang, M.E., Meinersmann, R.J., Hofacre, C. 2011. Spray washing, absorbent corn starch powder and dry time to reduce bacterial numbers on soiled boiler transport cage flooring. International Association for Food Protection Proceedings. Jul 31-Aug 3,2011. Milwaukee, WI. 76 P3-149. Technical Abstract: Most broilers in the U.S. are transported live to slaughter facilities in cages with fiberglass floors. Cages are often used repeatedly without washing and fecal matter deposited on the floor surface can transfer Campylobacter from one flock to another. Drying feces out between uses is an effective but slow and logistically impractical means to kill Campylobacter in soiled transport cages. The objective of this study was to test the addition of an absorbent powder to boost efficiency of cage drying as a sanitation procedure. Squares (5 X 5 cm) of fiberglass flooring were covered with broiler gut contents for 60 minutes, spray washed and then covered with a known quantity of corn starch or left untreated as controls. All squares were left to dry for 0.25, 2, 4 or 24 hours. Sterile sponges used to sample the surfaces were stomached in PBS which was subsequently plated on campy cefex agar for Campylobacter counts, reported as log CFU per floor square. At 0.25 hours dry time, corn starch alone did not significantly lessen the number of Campylobacter compared to unwashed control (5.84 and 5.74 respectively); washing lowered numbers by more than one log (4.12) and washing followed by cornstarch lowered Campylobacter numbers by three logs (2.79). By two hours dry time, no Campylobacter was detected on spray washed flooring with or without corn starch compared to 5.60 on control unwashed and 4.46 on corn starch treated unwashed flooring. At 24 hours dry time, no Campylobacter was detected on any flooring. These data show that an absorbent powder may aid in the desiccation caused death of Campylobacter on soiled transport cage flooring in a short turn around time scenario.