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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Poultry Microbiological Safety & Processing Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #351024

Research Project: Production and Processing Intervention Strategies for Poultry Associated Foodborne Pathogens

Location: Poultry Microbiological Safety & Processing Research

Title: Microbiological status of broiler respiratory tracts before and during catching for transport to the processing plant

Author
item BOURASSA, DIANNA - Auburn University
item WILSON, KIMBERLY - Ohio University
item CZARICK, MICHAEL - University Of Georgia
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/26/2018
Publication Date: 5/10/2018
Citation: Bourassa, D.V., Wilson, K.M., Czarick, M., Buhr, R.J. 2018. Microbiological status of broiler respiratory tracts before and during catching for transport to the processing plant. Journal of Applied Poultry Research. doi.org/10.3382/japr/pfy029.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3382/japr/pfy029

Interpretive Summary: The purpose of this research was to determine if elevated dust levels in commercial broiler houses, which are aerosolized during catching of the broilers, impacts the individual broiler’s internal contamination of Salmonella and other bacteria. Could the broilers that are exposed to increased dust generated during catching be a significant point of entry for Salmonella into a processing plant? Prior to transport to the processing plant, feed (4 h) and water were withdrawn from the broilers on the farm before being caught and placed into transport coops. During catching, an increased presence of dust in the house air is visible and may affect the presence of b1acteria within the broiler’s respiratory tract. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of catching on the levels of aerobic bacteria, levels and prevalence of Enterobacteriaceae, and prevalence of Salmonella within broiler respiratory tracts. Flock Salmonella status 1 wk prior to catching was determined by sampling broiler carcasses for bacteria by respiratory tract flushing and ceca collection. At 1 d prior to catching and when half of the broilers in the house were caught, broilers were again collected, transported to the lab, euthanized, and sampled. In Trial 1, there were no significant differences between sampling times for ceca Salmonella or respiratory Enterobacteriaceae and Aerobic bacteria. However, Salmonella prevalence in the respiratory tract was significantly higher at 1 wk preharvest compared to during catching. In Trial 2, Enterobacteriaceae was significantly lower during catching compared to 1 wk preharvest. No significant differences were detected in Trial 3 for Salmonella, Enterobacteriaceae, or Aerobic bacteria. Based on these results, the presence of aerosolized dust in the broiler house during catching does not appear to lead to increases in broiler respiratory tract microbial contamination with Salmonella.

Technical Abstract: A significant point of entry for Salmonella into a processing plant is within the broilers to be processed. Prior to transport to the processing plant, feed (4 h) and water are withdrawn from the broilers on the farm before they are caught and cooped. During catching, an increased presence of dust in the house air is visible and may affect the presence of bacteria within the broiler’s respiratory tract. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of catching on the levels of aerobic bacteria (APC), levels and prevalence of Enterobacteriaceae (EB), and prevalence of Salmonella within broiler respiratory tracts. To determine flock Salmonella status 1 wk prior to catching, broiler carcasses were sampled for APC, EB, and Salmonella by respiratory tract flushing and ceca were sampled for Salmonella. At 1 d prior to catching and when half of the broilers in the house were caught, broilers were again collected, transported to the pilot plant, euthanized, and sampled. In Trial 1 there were no significant differences between sampling times for ceca Salmonella or respiratory EB and APC. However, Salmonella prevalence in the respiratory tract was significantly higher at 1 wk preharvest compared to during catching. In Trial 2, EB was significantly lower during catching compared to 1 wk preharvest. No significant differences were detected in Trial 3. Based on these results, the presence of aerosolized dust in the broiler house during catching does not appear to lead to increases in broiler respiratory tract microbial contamination.