Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Publications

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Poultry Science





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Once turkeys arrive at Midwest processing plants, they are usually held in large open-sided sheds for 1 to 4 h, waiting to be unloaded. In hot, humid weather, large fans are used to cool the birds. The resultant air currents distribute a significant amount of dust to the turkeys. The dust created in this environment could be a factor in the number of Salmonella-contaminated turkeys entering slaughter plants. The objective of this study was to determine if rapid transmission of Salmonella in turkeys could occur from exposure toSalmonella-contaminated dust similar to what may be experienced in holding sheds or in other high-dust environments prior to slaughter. In the first experiment, trials of 3 different concentrations of Salmonella (1.2 × 109, 2.6 × 107, and 2.6 × 105 cfu/g) were conducted to determine if transmission ofSalmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium var. typhimuriumχ4232 to turkeys 2 to 4 h after aerosol exposure to contaminated feces is possible. Results showed that turkeys became infected after 2 h of exposure to airborne-contaminated feces with a concentration level of 2.6 × 105 cfu of SalmonellaTyphimurium/g. In the second experiment, consisting of 3 trials, 1 bank (5 cages wide and 3 cages high) of turkeys (n = 15 birds per trial) was exposed to another bank of cages of S. Typhimurium-inoculated (n = 15) birds for 2 to 4 h using a fan similar to the type in processing-plant cooling sheds. Results from this experiment demonstrated that birds could be contaminated with S.Typhimurium after 2 h of exposure. Results of both studies implicate contaminated dust as a route of rapid airborne transmission of Salmonella in turkeys. Processes that generate significant dust prior to slaughter should be regarded as critical control points for Salmonella.


This article is from Poultry Science 85, no. 10 (October 2006): 1693–1699.




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