Submitted to: International Association for Food Protection
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/27/2002
Publication Date: 6/30/2002
Citation: Bailey, J.S., Cosby, D.E. 2002. Salmonella on free-range chickens. International Association for Food Protection. T-08:123.
Technical Abstract: Many consumers assume that broiler chickens grown under traditional commercial conditions will have more salmonella than free-range chickens which are usually less crowded and have access to outside spaces during grow-out. However, because of the lack of published information about the microbiological status of free-range chickens, the object of the current study was to determine the prevalence of Salmonella on commercially grown free-range chickens. A total of 110 processed free-range chickens from 3 different commercial free-range chickens producers were sampled in lots of 10 per each of 11 replication for the presence of Salmonella. Carcasses were shipped by overnight freight on ice to our laboratory and traditional USDA cultural methods were used to sample for the presence of Salmonella. Overall, 6 of 11 (55%) lots and 27 of 110 (24.5%) of the carcasses were positive for Salmonella. No Salmonella were detected from 5 of the 11 lots sand in one lot 100% of all the chickens were positive for Salmonella. Overall, the free-range chickens tested in this study had slightly higher levels of Salmonella than the 11% found in recent FSIS HACCP samples, but the trends seen were very similar to those found in commercial integrated operations. There was a big variation from grower to grower and from lot to lot. Consumers should not assume that just because chickens are grown under free-range conditions that they will have less Salmonella.