USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announce the completion of a research project at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, which developed a rapid detection assay for Salmonella that may be used in U.S. poultry processing plants. Salmonella contamination on poultry has been a huge problem in U.S. facilities, as evidence by the large Salmonella outbreak linked to Foster Farms chicken processing plants last year.
The method detects and quantifies viable Salmonella servers in poultry carcasses without selective enrichment. The researchers found that growth of Salmonella occurred on Luria Bertani broth than on selective enrichment. Using nonselective media that supports the rapid growth of this bacteria greatly cuts assay time.
The project “provides potential reliable and rapid Salmonella detection for all phases of poultry production,” according to the report. This can result in considerable savings in time and in cost. The assays can detect 15 strains isolated from poultry, poultry products, and humans. In fact, the test could detect as low as 46 copies of Salmonella DNA.
Any method to help detect Salmonella in poultry processing plants may be helpful in reducing contamination on poultry. A report by Consumer Reports last year found that 97% of the chicken breasts they purchased in grocery stores contained pathogenic bacteria.
In addition, many of these bacteria are resistant to antibiotics. In the Foster Farms outbreak, 40% of those sickened were hospitalized, which is double the average rate, because the seven Salmonella strains were resistant to antibiotics.