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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MICROBIAL INTERACTIONS AND INTERVENTIONS TO REDUCE TRANSMISSION OF FOODBORNE PATHOGENS THROUGH POULTRY

Location: Food and Feed Safety Research

Title: Microbiological pathogens: Live poultry considerations

Authors
item Hargis, Billy -
item Caldwell, David -
item Byrd, James

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: July 20, 2010
Publication Date: September 18, 2010
Citation: Hargis, B.M., Caldwell, D.J., Byrd II, J.A. 2010. Microbiological pathogens: Live poultry considerations. In: Owens, C.M., Alvarado, C.Z., Sams, A.R., editors. Poultry Meat Processing. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. p. 157-174.

Interpretive Summary: Food-borne illness is a major problem worldwide. Salmonella, a bacteria, is the leading cause of food-borne illness that has reportedly been linked to poultry and poultry meat. Food-borne Disease Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) has estimated the confirmed cases of Salmonella for the years 1996 to 1999 in the United States. During this span, it was estimated that there were 1.4 million annual cases of Salmonella infection in the United States, resulting in 168,000 doctor's office visits per year. These cases of Salmonella infection resulted in 15,000 hospitalizations and 400 deaths yearly between 1996 and 1999. Using this estimation, the total cost of this disease was slightly above $2.5 billion. Clearly, efforts to use new and existing methods for control are well-justified by cost alone, and control of Salmonella and other food-borne pathogens continue to gain recognition as a serious research priority by governmental agencies. Significant progress has been made within the last decade with regard to development of methods to control Salmonella in poultry flocks prior to slaughter, although much work remains to be done. It is clear that the origin of these pathogens in poultry slaughter plants is in the flocks of live poultry. As such, live bird food-borne pathogen control can have a major impact in reducing contamination of fresh products with Salmonella and human food-borne pathogens as intervention strategies are discovered, understood, and used. This chapter discusses the current knowledge of live bird Salmonella and other food-borne control programs.

Technical Abstract: Food-borne illness is a significant worldwide public health problem. Salmonella is the predominate food-borne pathogen worldwide, and poultry and poultry products are, reportedly, a prevailing vehicle for salmonellosis. More recently, population-based active surveillance by investigators of the Food-borne Disease Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) produced estimates of culture-confirmed and non-culture-confirmed human Salmonella infection for the years 1996 to 1999 in the United States. During this span, it was estimated that there were 1.4 million annual cases of nontyphoidal Salmonella infection in the United States, resulting in 168,000 physician office visits per year. These cases of nontyphoidal Salmonella infection resulted in 15,000 hospitalizations and 400 deaths annually between 1996 and 1999. Using these and other assumptions, the total cost of human salmonellosis to the U.S. economy, as calculated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service for 2007, was slightly above $2.5 billion. Clearly, efforts to elucidate and implement new and existing methods for control are well-justified by the economic cost alone, and control of Salmonella, Campylobacter, and other food-borne pathogens continue to gain recognition as a serious research priority by governmental agencies. Significant progress has been made within the last decade with regard to development of methods to control infections in poultry flocks prior to slaughter, although much work remains to be done. It is clear that the origin of these pathogens in poultry processing plants is in the flocks of product origin. As such, antemortem food-borne pathogen control can have a major impact in reducing contamination of fresh product with these agents of human food-borne illness as intervention strategies are elucidated, understood, and implemented. This chapter discusses the current knowledge of antemortem Salmonella and Campylobacter interventions.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014
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