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Killing Potentially Foodborne Pathogens by Ammoniation of Feedstuffs


<OL> <LI> Inoculate straw and corn with model pathogens and determine the extent of killing that results from ammoniation. <LI> Establish laboratory ammoniation processes, representative of those used to increase crude protein in straw and to reduce aflatoxin levels in corn and other concentrates, to better simulate treatments applied outside a laboratory setting.

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Ammonia, now used to improve feed value of straw and detoxify corn, will be tested for ability to kill bacteria and protozoa in these food animal feedstuffs. This can prevent possible transmission of infections via goods. The current drive for increased food safety has led to calls for on-farm interventions that will reduce the incidence of pathogens in food raw materials at the time of harvest or slaughter.
APPROACH: Straw and corn are being inoculated first with Salmonella spp. and E. coli O157:H7. Experiments with C parvum will follow. Studies are individually conducted per pathogen. Products are inoculated with the pathogens as outlined in our laboratory procedures. The feedstuffs are dried too approximately their original weight before treatment and ammoniated according to methods recommended for use with these commodities, and microbiological killing determined. <P>

PROGRESS: 2003/11 TO 2008/10<BR>
OUTPUTS: We demonstrated that anhydrous ammonia treatment of animal feeds, which is already being done for other purposes, can cause 99.999% killing of zoonotic bacterial pathogens that may be present . The treatment was successful with wheat straw, corn grain, and cottonseed contaminated with various pathogens (Salmonella Newport in all feeds; Campylobacte jejuni, E. coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Yersinia enterocolitica in corn grain only). Corn silage was shown to be actively antibacterial without ammoniation. <BR>PARTICIPANTS: Dean O. Cliver, PhD: Professor Emeritus of Food Safety, UCD-SVM Mehrdad Tajkarimi, DVM, PhD: presently studying at UCD toward the degree Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine Hans P. Riemann, DVM, PhD: deceased Maha N. Hajmeer, PhD: present address -- Emergency Response Unit, Food and Drug Branch, California Department of Health Services, 1500 Capitol Ave., P.O. Box 997435 MS 7602, Sacramento, CA 95899-7435, USA. Edward L. Gomez, BS: present affiliation unknown Vadood Razavilar, DVM, PhD: present address -- Department of Food Safety, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Gharib Street Azadi Avenue Tehran, Iran, C.P.O.Box 14155-6453. Work was done in the Food Safety Laboratory of the Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis <BR>TARGET AUDIENCES: Ammoniation of roughages is prresently done to enhance palatability and crude protein content as feeds for ruminants. Ammoniation of concentrates is presently done to destroy mycotoxins; the concentrates may be fed to ruminants, monogastric animals (e.g., swine), or poultry. In any case, the elimination of zoonotic bacteria from the feed may prevent transmission of these agents to humans via animal manure or the foods produced by the animals. Availability of this option may be of interest to farmers engaged in animal production agriculture. <BR>PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Terminated upon retirement (10/1/07) of the PI.
IMPACT: 2003/11 TO 2008/10<BR>
This work needs to be scaled up to show that it works at the farm level, rather than just in the laboratory. If it is successful at the farm level, it might be applied to other feeds as well as to those already tested and might afford a "critical control point" for pre-harvest food safety. In that the PI retired on 1 October 2007, this project is ended, the laboratories are closed, and there is no prospect of further work.

Cliver, Dean
University of California - Davis
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