Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 15, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Salmonella is one of the major causes of food poisoning in humans. Due to the concern of food safety, a survey of several broiler hatcheries and houses were performed to help understand the spread of Salmonella in the production of chickens. Seven hatcheries and 38 broiler houses were tested for different types of Salmonella. The results from this study show that the same Salmonella types were found consistently in the hatcheries and broiler houses. Our conclusions are that the spread of Salmonella from hatchery infected chicks to non-infected chicks in the broiler houses are random events with the same Salmonella types consistently ocurring in the hatchery and the broiler houses. These results may help poultry producers understand the spread of Salmonella from the hatchery to the chicken houses and eventually reduce Salmonella contamination of chicken.
Using conventional trayliner (hatcheries) and drag swab assembly (broiler houses) culture methods, the isolation distribution of Salmonella serotypes from 5 commercial broiler hatcheries and 13 farms was evaluated. A total of 11 different Salmonella serotypes were isolated from hatcheries with S. heidelberg and S. kentucky accounting for 50% of the total isolations. Of 700 chick paperpad trayliners sampled, regardless of lot (breeder flock source) or hatchery, 12% were positive for Salmonella. When 10 individual trayliners were cultured from individual lots, Salmonella was detected in 24/57 lots (42%). Of the 21 lots that were serially sampled, the Salmonella serotype detected was different within lots 8 times (38%) on at least one occasion of two or more sampling times. Of the total 196 individual broiler houses sampled, forty-four broiler houses were positive for Salmonella (82%). A total of 12 different serotypes were isolated from broiler houses during this study. The serotypes isolated most frequently were S. heidelberg and S. kentucky. These two serotypes accounted for 59.6% of the total broiler house isolations. Of the 38 serially sampled houses, a consistent Salmonella serotype was detected in 5 houses (13%). In only 5 of the 38 (13%) serially sampled houses did we fail to detect Salmonella on 4 or more samplings. These data support previous findings indicating that paratyphoid Salmonella serotypes are prevalent in some broiler hatcheries and houses. Further, the observation of multiple serotypes simultaneously and serially isolated from same breeder hatchery lots suggests that breeder flocks may be infected with more than one serotype, possibly providing a source for multiple serotype infections in progeny grower flocks.