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ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Food and Feed Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #320786

Title: Multi-microbial compounds eliminate or reduce Salmonella typhimurium from one-third of poultry liter samples within 8 days

item Sheffield, Cynthia
item Crippen, Tawni - Tc
item Beier, Ross

Submitted to: Research Journal of Poultry Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/23/2016
Publication Date: 7/1/2018
Publication URL:
Citation: Sheffield, C.L., Crippen, T.L., Beier, R.C. 2018. Multi-microbial compounds eliminate or reduce Salmonella typhimurium from one-third of poultry liter samples within 8 days. Research Journal of Poultry Sciences. 11(1):5-8.

Interpretive Summary: Reuse of poultry litter (bedding + poultry manure) is economically important; however this material often serves as a reservoir of Salmonella. According to research, consumption of litter by poultry during the pre-harvest feed withdrawal period, can lead to gastrointestinal tract Salmonella infections. This study examined the efficacy of two multi-microbial suspensions (MMS1; MMS2) in reducing Salmonella Typhimurium (ST) in poultry litter. Laboratory formulated litter (sterile poultry manure + bedding) was inoculated with MMS treatments and incubated for 48 hours to simulate the practice of pretreating a poultry house prior to introduction of birds. ST (108 cfu/mL) was then added to the litter and the ST load was analyzed every other day for 8 days. MMS1 exhibited superior efficacy by eliminating ST from one-third of the samples by day 8. While ST concentrations in MMS2 treated litter were not significantly different from that of the control. MMS1, which is easily incorporated and safe for poultry and humans, could potentially shorten the time between flocks required to substantially reduce the ST concentration in reused litter. This could provide both economic and food safety advantages to broiler producers, and enhancing the overall food safety of poultry products.

Technical Abstract: Broiler litter is composed of bedding material mixed with chicken manure, feathers, and feed. The bedding material is typically composed of wood shavings; peanut or rice hulls depending on the area of the country where the broilers are being raised. Due to the increasing price of fresh bedding materials, most broiler producers are using the same litter for multiple flocks. But, continued use often results in increased contamination of the litter with many microbial organisms including, yeasts, molds, multiple types of viruses, and bacteria. Of particular concern are the pathogens such as Salmonella, Escherichia and Campylobacter. These foodborne pathogens are of special importance for poultry producers because; 1) consumption of contaminated litter by the birds can lead to infection of the intestines with these bacteria, and 2) the presence of these bacteria in and on the carcasses present substantial problems at processing. This study focused on reducing or eliminating the level of Salmonella Typhimurium in poultry litter using two different multi-microbial compounds (MMS1, MMS2). Each of the two materials were added to sterile poultry litter, then Salmonella Typhimurium was added at a level similar to that observed in broiler houses. The level of Salmonella Typhimurium was measured over eight days. One of the compounds (MMS1) was able to eliminate Salmonella Typhimurium in 33% of the samples tested after 8-days. Additionally, this material produced an average 2-log reduction in the level of Salmonella Typhimurium over the entire test period. Unfortunately, the second compound (MMS2) did not eliminate or significantly reduce the level of Salmonella Typhimurium over the entire test period. This shows that MMS1 has the potential to greatly improve the overall microbiological safety within the broiler production arena. Further research is needed to determine the long term effect of this MMS1 under actual commercial broiler production conditions.