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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #96776


item Berrang, Mark
item Cox Jr, Nelson

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/10/1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Commercial broiler hatcheries are known to be contaminated with salmonellae. This organism, a human pathogen, can gain entry into the newly hatched chick and be carried to the grow out farm. The same strain of salmonellae can then be found on the final processed poultry carcass. Therefore, hatchery sanitation is an important control point for prevention of human pathogens into poultry and subsequently the human food supply. Hatchery sanitation procedures such as egg sanitization and hatching cabinet sanitization during hatch should be applied in commercial broiler hatcheries. When done in concert with microbiological monitoring to measure effectiveness, these procedures can lessen the likelihood that human pathogens will be transferred to the farm with the chicks.

Technical Abstract: The broiler hatchery is a reservoir for salmonellae. In 1990, 3 commercial broiler hatcheries were sampled by means of egg shell belt swab and paper pad samples. Overall, more than 75 % of the samples were positive for the presence of salmonellae. In the hatchery environment salmonellae is quickly spread form one chick to another. One chick pipping out of a contaminated egg can spread salmonellae to many other hatch-mates while still in the hatching cabinet. Because of this, the hatchery has been identified by many researchers as one primary control point for the entry of salmonellae into poultry. There are several intervention techniques which can be applied to prevent the entry of human pathogens to the newly hatched chick. Some intervention techniques, such as competitive exclusion, will be confounded by the presence of salmonellae in the hatchery. Therefore, hatchery sanitation is of utmost importance. The first step is to sanitize hatching eggs as soon after lay as possible; then the transportation chain must be carefully controlled to prevent re-contamination of the eggs. Finally, hatching cabinets should be fitted with nozzles for application of chemical agents during the last hours of hatch. A sound good clean out and sanitation procedure must be followed between hatches and through out the facility. When coupled with a careful microbiological monitoring program, these procedures will help to provide a salmonellae free chick to the grow-out farm.