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To Make Recommendations on the Best Practical Procedures to Sample and Test Poultry Flocks for Salmonella

Institutions
Direct Laboratories Ltd
Start date
2003
End date
2004
Objective
This research project identifies optimal sampling and testing procedures for the detection of Salmonella spp. on the broiler farm.
  1. Collate and update all information on sampling and testing practices from previous studies, industry, the literature and overseas.
  2. Critically evaluate sampling and testing practices to determine the best procedures taking account of practicalities. The most promising sampling and testing procedures will be further evaluated using practical, laboratory-based studies to determine sensitivity and detection thresholds. A definitive sampling and testing plan will be validated in a number of broiler flocks by comparison with standard company monitoring and intensive sampling. On completion of technical evaluations a full cost/benefit analysis will be undertaken. This will take account of both the full costs of procedures and their technical merit.
  3. Produce final recommendations in a format suitable for the production of guidance material for industry. A final report will be produced which will give economically viable recommended procedures to cover all stages of sampling and testing. The recommendations will include: a sample plan that will detect the maximum number of salmonella positive flocks; at what stage(s) of production should testing take place (i.e. age of the birds); the optimum method of sampling to assess flock status; how best to package and transport the samples to the laboratory; the laboratory test procedures(s) that will optimise detection of salmonellas of most concern to public health (particularly typhimurium and enteritidis); suitable rapid methods; alternatives to serotyping if available.
More information
A recent review (FSA project ZB00023) of the current testing and scheduling practices used by the poultry industry revealed that over 95% of flocks were tested for salmonella but there were wide variations at all stages of the testing procedures.

The authors concluded that because of the inadequacy of many industry practices it was certain that a significant number of salmonella positive flocks were not being detected, resulting in cross-contamination during slaughter.

Testing and scheduling is an important salmonella control measure for poultry meat and there is an urgent need for clear and practical guidance on sampling and testing.

Such guidance needs to clearly explain the best practical and economic procedures that industry should adopt to ensure the maximum number of salmonella positive flocks are detected.

The project will critically examine current industry practices to identify a definitive sampling and testing plan, which will be validated in a number of broiler flocks.

The final report, "To Make Recommendations On The Best Practical Procedures To Sample And Test Poultry Flocks For Salmonella" is available at Foodbase, an open access repository of the FSA.

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number
B15003
Categories
Prevention and Control
Bacterial Pathogens
Salmonella
Commodities
Meat, Poultry, Game