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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Bacterial Epidemiology & Antimicrobial Resistance Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #325973

Research Project: Microbial Ecology of Human Pathogens Relative to Poultry Processing

Location: Bacterial Epidemiology & Antimicrobial Resistance Research

Title: Role of transport coops for spreading Campylobacter contamination in broilers?

Author
item Berrang, Mark
item Cox, Nelson - Nac
item Meinersmann, Richard - Rick
item NORTHCUTT, JULIE - Clemson University
item Cosby, Douglas
item OAKLEY, BRIAN - Former ARS Employee
item WILSON, JEANNA - University Of Georgia
item HOFACRE, CHARLES - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: Poultry USA
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2016
Publication Date: 6/1/2016
Citation: Berrang, M.E., Cox Jr, N.A., Meinersmann, R.J., Northcutt, J., Cosby, D.E., Oakley, B., Wilson, J., Hofacre, C. 2016. Role of transport coops for spreading Campylobacter contamination in broilers?. Poultry USA. 44-45.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In a typical commercial operation, broilers on the farm are caught, mechanically or by hand, and placed into coops for transport. Filled transport coops are taken to the processing plant, emptied and put back into service. Soiled coops may or may not be cleaned and sanitized between uses. The objective of this study was to determine if contaminated fecal matter in a transport coop from Campylobacter positive broilers could lead to contamination of the carcasses of previously negative broilers. Broilers were obtained from commercial growout houses that had been previously identified as Campylobacter positive or negative by culturing feces. The broilers from a Campylobacter positive house were placed into a new (never before used) five-level commercial transport coop and held for 8 h. When broilers from the positive house were removed and processed, broilers from the Campylobacter negative house were placed into the same coop. Broilers from the negative house remained in the coop exposed to the feces of the Campylobacter positive broilers for up to 6 h before being removed and processed. Carcasses from each group were examined for the presence and number of Campylobacter. More than 50% of the defeathered carcasses from previously negative broilers had lower, but detectable levels of Campylobacter. These data indicate that feces from a Campylobacter positive flock can indeed cause contamination of the outer surfaces of a Campylobacter negative flock that is placed later into the same uncleaned transport coop.