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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Pasteurization of chicken litter with steam and quicklime to reduce Salmonella Typhimurium

item Stringfellow, Kendre
item Caldwell, David
item Lee, Jason
item Byrd Ii, James
item Carey, John
item Kessler, Kevin
item Mcreynolds, Jackson
item Bell, Alois - Al
item Stipanovic, Robert - Bob
item Farnell, Morgan

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/20/2010
Publication Date: 11/23/2010
Publication URL:
Citation: Stringfellow, K., Caldwell, D.J., Lee, J., Byrd II, J.A., Carey, J., Kessler, K., McReynolds, J.L., Bell, A.A., Stipanovic, R.D., Farnell, M. 2010. Pasteurization of chicken litter with steam and quicklime to reduce Salmonella Typhimurium. Journal of Applied Poultry Research. 19:380-386.

Interpretive Summary: Poultry litter could be reused if economical methods were available to reduce or eliminate pathogens in the litter. Treatment of litter with steam and/or quicklime significantly reduced pathogen levels. These treatments offer the poultry industry two novel and environmentally benign techniques to reduce pathogen levels in used poultry litter.

Technical Abstract: The nursery industry pasteurizes soil with steam and quicklime to reduce plant pathogens. The mechanism of action for quicklime is the resulting exothermic reaction that occurs when the chemical interacts with water, and its ability to increase pH levels. These treatments may also reduce pathogens in a commercial poultry house. In this study, a steam sterilization cart simulated conditions used by the nursery industry to treat Salmonella Typhimurium inoculated litter. A homogenized sample of litter was exposed to steam for 0, 5, 30, or 120 minutes. Quicklime was used at concentrations of 0 (control), 2.5, 5, or 10%. All steam treatments, with or without quicklime, significantly reduced Salmonella Typhimurium colonization by at least 3 orders of magnitude. Significant reductions were also observed in the quicklime alone treatments. Both the steam and the quicklime treatments often reduced colonization to undetectable levels even when samples were enriched. Therefore, we have demonstrated two novel techinques for reducing Salmonella Typhimurium in poultry litter. Soil pasteurization potentially offers an environmentally sound means of reducing the pathogens present in used poultry litter.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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