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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Poultry Microbiological Safety & Processing Research » Research » Research Project #430607

Research Project: Production and Processing Intervention Strategies for Poultry Associated Foodborne Pathogens

Location: Poultry Microbiological Safety & Processing Research

Project Number: 6040-32000-069-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Feb 10, 2016
End Date: Feb 9, 2021

Objective:
Objective 1. Develop reliable and reproducible challenge models with Salmonella and Campylobacter for use in accurately developing, evaluating, and validating processes for reducing pathogen load using various chemical sanitizers. Objective 2. Develop, evaluate, and validate current and novel chemicals, operational protocols, and sampling methodologies used during poultry production and processing of broilers for the reduction and/or control of foodborne pathogens. Sub-objective 2.1. Assess the ability of commercial and novel chemical sanitizers to reduce or eliminate Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Pseudomonas species from inoculated broiler carcasses and parts. Sub-objective 2.2. Examine the effectiveness of chemical sanitizers applied to carcasses before defeathering or before chilling to reduce contamination by Salmonella and Campylobacter carcasses in postchill carcasses. Sub-objective 2.3. Formulate novel microbicidal surfactants from mixtures of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) and organic acids (OA) to be used as sanitizers to significantly reduce microbial contamination during poultry processing. Objective 3. Identify and evaluate risk factors in the production, management, transportation, or processing that impact bird/egg contamination with foodborne pathogens and develop intervention strategies to control pathogens in the absence of antibiotics. Sub-objective 3.1. Assess the ability of chemical sanitizers to reduce contamination of inoculated, fertile eggs by Salmonella. Sub-objective 3.2. Identify and evaluate risk factors in the production, management, transportation, or processing that impact broiler contamination with foodborne pathogens and develop intervention strategies to control pathogens in the absence of antibiotics. Objective 4. Determine the extrinsic factors that impact the survival and attachment of microorganisms including evaluating media and growth factors. Develop and validate new improved technologies to isolate and propagate foodborne pathogens. Sub-objective 4.1. Evaluate media and growth factors and use the findings to develop new, improved technologies for the isolation and propagation of Campylobacter. Sub-objective 4.2. Assess accuracy of current laboratory methods in recovering Salmonella from poultry, animal feeds, and dry environmental samples with fermentable substrates available and development of a more efficient pre-enrichment media.

Approach:
Poultry products contaminated by Salmonella and Campylobacter continue to be major sources of human foodborne illnesses. Live poultry are sporadically colonized by these pathogens, and the birds may serve as reservoirs for the bacteria without displaying any signs of illness or declines in performance. Cross contamination of carcasses during processing may spread the bacteria to poultry meat which may cause foodborne infections if the meat is not properly handled. Therefore, the primary goal of our research will be to develop novel interventions that may be used by commercial poultry producers and processors to reduce contamination of poultry by Salmonella, Campylobacter, and indicator microorganisms. Novel chemical sanitizers that may be used during processing to reduce carcass contamination by foodborne pathogens will be formulated or identified. Factors that enhance survival of these pathogens will be identified and used to formulate a novel bacteriological medium that will be utilized in research projects to determine the efficacy of currently available and newly developed interventions. The project outcomes will result in additional control measures that will reduce the levels of Salmonella and Campylobacter in broiler flocks and reduce contamination of processed carcasses by these pathogens. These outcomes will enable the poultry industry to achieve Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) performance standard goals and to reduce the number of cases of human foodborne illness associated with contaminated poultry products. Research goals will be achieved by utilizing an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates knowledge and skills of the scientists and other scientists who possess skills and resources required to successfully compete this project.