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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION AND GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT ECOLOGY OF COMMENSAL HUMAN FOOD-BORNE BACTERIAL PATHOGENS IN THE CHICKEN Title: Food safety effects of unabsorbed yolks in broilers

Authors
item Cox, Nelson
item Richardson, Larry
item Buhr, Richard
item Northcutt, J -
item Cray, Paula

Submitted to: WATT Poultry USA
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 10, 2011
Publication Date: January 10, 2011
Citation: Cox Jr, N.A., Richardson, L.J., Buhr, R.J., Northcutt, J.K., Cray, P.J. 2011. Food safety effects of unabsorbed yolks in broilers. WATT Poultry USA. Pages 34-35.

Technical Abstract: In the developing avian embryo, the main energy source is the yolk. Toward the end of the incubation period, the remaining yolk sac is internalized into the abdominal cavity. At hatch, the remaining yolk comprises 20% of the chick’s body weight and provides the nutrients needed for maintenance. Posthatch, chicks rapidly initiate the transition from yolk dependence to the utilization of exogenous feed. At present, it is not known what types of bacteria are found to be associated with unabsorbed yolk sacs form market-age broilers. Campylobacter spp. was found in 29% of the yolk stalks, 32% of the attached yolk sacs, and13% of the free-floating yolk sacs. All Campylobacter isolates were determined to be Campylobacter jejuni, except for 1 attached yolk and yolk stalk, which was Campylobacter coli. Salmonella serovars were found in 26% of the yolk stalks, 48% of the attached yolk sacs and 23% of the free-floating yolk sacs, and the majority of Salmonella isolates were Salmonella Typhimurium. The significance of these bacterial reservoirs and carcass contamination during processing is yet to be determined.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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