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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: On Farm Salmonella Control for the Broiler Industry - a U.S. Perspective

Author
item Bailey, Joseph

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 4, 2004
Publication Date: October 15, 2004
Citation: Bailey, J.S. 2004. On farm salmonella control for the broiler industry - a U.S. perspective [abstract]. U.S. Poultry and Salmonella Control Conference. May 16 - 17, 2005. Atlanta, GA.

Technical Abstract: Currently, the United States is growing about 8.5 billion chickens a year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) found about a 20% Salmonella positive prevalence rate in broiler chickens in a national baseline study conducted in the late 1990's. Since that initial baseline study, FSIS HACCP samples have shown Salmonella positive rates of between 11 and 13%. Much of the credit for these reductions are attributable to the use of up to 40 ppm chlorine in the immersion chillers and implementation of a second antimicrobial treatment in the inside outside bird washer before the chill tanks. Additionally, much of the industry has done a much better job of reducing the number of Salmonella positive chicks leaving the hatchery. For additional significant reductions in Salmonella positive chickens to take place, additional interventions at the farm level will likely need to be implemented. Evidence of the role that on-farm interventions can play in effectively helping to control Salmonella can be seen in Sweden and where on-farm control programs have significantly controlled Salmonella in broiler chicken production. Sweden's program was initiated about 15 years ago and Denmark' s program was started about 10 years ago. In both programs, extensive testing programs are in place, no Salmonella positive feed is allowed, and all breeder birds that test positive for Salmonella are eradicated. In Sweden the program is continued for final grow-out and no Salmonella positive birds are allowed to be sold to the consumer and any Salmonella positive flocks are killed and disposed of. In Denmark, Salmonella positive grow-out broilers are processed separately, but can be sold to the consumer. Initially the costs of implementing the programs in both Sweden and Denmark were paid for by the government. Sweden has moved to a program that is self insured through industry check-offs. Denmark is implementing a similar insurance program. Final economic analysis for a similar program in the U.S. is ongoing, but it will likely not be economically feasible to implement this same program in the U.S. However, alternative methods of achieving similar results may be possible. The size and competitive nature of the industry make implementation of new pathogen intervention technologies that would significantly increase costs of production a challenge unless there is a concomitant decision by the entire industry to implement the technology. There are several technologies that are currently being researched and in some cases used by the U.S. poultry industry. Research and anecdotal evidence suggests that the use of live and killed cell vaccines in breeders, competitive exclusion treatments in breeders and broilers, and extensive biosecurity in breeder and broiler operations should yield similar results without the extensive costs of eradication programs. Experience has shown and the European experience has confirmed that the best way to control pathogens in food systems is to control the pathogens on the farm and to prevent them from ever entering the processing plant.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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