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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Genetic Analysis of Poultry-Associated Salmonella enterica to Identify and Characterize Properties and Markers Associated with Egg-Borne Transmission of Illness

Location: Egg Safety and Quality

Title: The prevalence of Salmonella enterica serovars Heidelberg and Kentucky in the scalder water of a commercial poultry processing plant in the southeastern United States.

item Ciconi-Hogan, Kellie -
item Hiett, Kelli
item Ingram, Kimberly
item Hinton, Jr, Arthur
item Guard, Jean
item Gamble, John -
item Rothrock, Michael

Submitted to: International Poultry Scientific Forum
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 6, 2013
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess the presence of Salmonella enterica present in the water of scalder and chiller tanks from a commercial chicken processing plant in the southeaster United States. Three liters of scald and chill water were aseptically sampled three times daily for three consecutive days – at the beginning of the day before the first line of chickens had run though, midday, and then after the last line of chickens had run. Each sample was split into a ‘raw’ water sample and into the filtrate of water that had been filtered using cheesecloth and 0.8 µM Nalgene filter unit. Immediately after collection, each sample was tested for Salmonella on selective XLT4 and Brilliant Green Sulfa media. Additionally, DNA was extracted from the samples in order to more precisely identify the isolates that were present. Sequencing, PFGE testing and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) were done to further characterize the isolates. Salmonella isolates were recovered only from the scalder water at midday and after the final line had run. None were isolated from the chiller water. Of interest were the identities of the serotypes recovered from the scalder water. In total, 45 isolates of Salmonella enterica serovar Kentucky and 11 isolates of Salmonella enterica serovar Heidelberg were found. Several isolates were found to be multi-drug resistant to various antimicrobials. There is a potential for a public health risk, as serovar Heidelberg has been know to cause food-borne illness in humans. Additionally, due to the recent nationwide poultry-associated outbreak of the Heidelberg serovar, it will be important to understand the transmission and environmental dynamics that are optimal for the growth of this organism.

Last Modified: 2/28/2015
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