Submitted to: Southern Poultry Science Society Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/29/2004
Publication Date: 7/31/2005
Citation: Northcutt, J.K., Berrang, M.E. 2005. Effects of a commercial transport cage washing system on wastewater characteristics and surface bacteria recovery [abstract]. Southern Poultry Science Society Meeting Abstracts. 84(suppl.1):92.
Technical Abstract: A study was conducted to determine the effects of a commercial transport cage washing system on wastewater characteristics and surface bacteria recovery. During each of three sampling times, the fiberglass flooring of three commercial transport cages from the same farm (5 high, 3 door) was sampled before washing (left side of flooring), after washing (middle of flooring) and after sanitizing with a quaternary ammonium chloride-based chemical (right side of flooring). Three compartments (top, middle and bottom) were sampled from the center section on each cage. Water samples were collected from the spray nozzles before contacting the cages (tap), and two run-off drains after washing (initial and final wastewater). Water was analyzed for pH, chlorine, chemical oxygen demand (COD), total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), total dissolved solids (TDS), total suspended solids (TSS), and total solid (TS). Water and surface swabs of the flooring were sampled for total aerobic bacteria, coliforms, E. coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter. Water used to wash cages contained 40 to 200 PPM chlorine and had a pH of approximately 8.5. Chlorine and pH of initial and final wastewater (0.4 and 7.1, respectively) were not significantly different (P < 0.05). The initial wastewater samples (first stage of cage washing) contained higher levels of TSS and TDS than the final wastewater samples (second stage of cage washing), but the final wastewater sample had higher levels of TKN and COD. Spray washing reduced counts of coliforms, E. coli and total aerobic bacteria on the fiberglass flooring by 1.5, 1.5 and 1.2 log10 cfu per 36 in2 respectively. After sanitation, counts of coliforms, E. coli and total aerobic bacteria on the fiberglass flooring decreased further by 0.7, 0.7 and 0.9 log10 cfu/mL. Incidence of Salmonella and Campylobacter on the cages was low and neither bacterium was detected after sanitizer application. The present study demonstrates that washing chicken transport cages may lower surface bacterial contamination. Key words: Transport cage, sanitization, cage washing, microbiology