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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Pre-Harvest Food Safety in the United States

Authors
item Bailey, Joseph
item Stern, Norman
item Cox, Nelson
item Line, John
item Craven, Stephen
item Cray, Paula

Submitted to: World Poultry Science Association Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 21, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The best way to assure processing of chicken products with no or very few human bacterial pathogens such as Salmonella is to grow chicken with no Salmonella. Maximization of resources by researchers, regulators and the poultry industry requires specific knowledge of principal sources of Salmonella. Results from a multi-state epidemiology study are presented which demonstrate that Salmonella is found from multiple location and sources. One principal source is the hatchery. Further prevalence studies of Salmonella in the hatchery are highlighted. Based on these epidemiology studies, highlights of this four-step on-farm intervention procedure which five large U.S. integrated chicken companies have agreed to field test on a commercial level are presented.

Technical Abstract: Many approaches have been tried in an effort to provide foods free of any bacterial pathogens, with the most common being the attempt to develop terminal pasteurization treatments. In the case of milk, this approach has been successful. With the exception of irradiation and cooking, no such "magic bullet" has been found for foods other than milk such as raw meats, poultry, and fruits and vegetables. Because of the widespread nature and complex ecology of different bacterial pathogens, it appears that attaining significant control will require comprehensive, multifaceted interventions from the farm to the consumer. Food safety starts in food production. Only by delivering chickens to the processing plant with no or significantly reduced levels of human enteric bacterial pathogens can we be assured of providing fresh processed chickens with no or low levels of these pathogens. Epidemiology studies provide information on the complex ecology and movement of salmonellae and other bacterial pathogens through the integrated poultry cycle. The multiple sources and routes of transfer of the pathogens will likely require multiple interventions throughout the production cycle if consistent reductions in pathogen presence is to be achieved. Findings of commercial field trial evaluations of competitive exclusion and a multi-state epidemiology study of sources of salmonellae and other pathogens will be reviewed. A subsequent comprehensive multi-step intervention study developed in cooperation with the U.S. Broiler Industry will be detailed.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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