Occurrence and characterization of Salmonella from chicken nuggets, strips, and pelleted broiler feed

J Food Prot. 2007 Oct;70(10):2251-8. doi: 10.4315/0362-028x-70.10.2251.


Raw, frozen chicken nuggets and strips have been identified as a significant risk factor in contracting foodborne salmonellosis. Cases of salmonellosis as a result of consuming partly cooked chicken nuggets may be due in part to Salmonella strains originating in broiler feed. This study was undertaken to determine the occurrence and characterize the strains of Salmonella contaminating chicken nuggets, strips, and pelleted feeds, in an attempt to demonstrate whether the same Salmonella strains present in broiler feed could be isolated from raw, frozen chicken nuggets and strips available for human consumption. Salmonellae were recovered using the Health Canada MFHPB-20 method for the isolation and identification of Salmonella from foods. Strains were characterized by serotyping, phage typing, antimicrobial resistance typing (R-typing), and by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Salmonellae were isolated from 25-g samples in 27% (n=92) of nugget and strip samples, 95% (n=20) of chicken nugget meat samples, and from 9% (n=111) of pelleted feed samples. Salmonella Heidelberg, Salmonella Enteritidis, and Salmonella Orion were the most commonly isolated serovars from chicken nuggets and strips, nugget and strip meat, and pelleted broiler feeds, respectively. Salmonella Enteritidis phage type (PT) 13a with PFGE pattern SENXAI.0006 and R-type sensitive as well as Salmonella Enteritidis PT13a with PFGE pattern SENXAI.0068 and R-type sensitive were isolated from pelleted feed, and chicken nugget and strip meat in two separate instances. Data showed that Salmonella strains isolated from broiler feed were indistinguishable from strains isolated from packaged raw, frozen chicken nuggets and strips. However, results did not rule out the possibility that breeding stock or contamination during processing may have contributed to chicken meat contamination by Salmonella.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / microbiology*
  • Animals
  • Chickens
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Food Microbiology
  • Frozen Foods / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Poultry Products / microbiology*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Salmonella / classification*
  • Salmonella / isolation & purification*
  • Salmonella Food Poisoning / prevention & control
  • Serotyping
  • Species Specificity