Farm and slaughterhouse characteristics affecting the occurrence of Salmonella and Campylobacter in the broiler supply chain

Poult Sci. 2012 Sep;91(9):2376-81. doi: 10.3382/ps.2009-00367.


Based on a data set on Campylobacter and Salmonella prevalence in the broiler supply chain, collected during the period 2002 through 2005 in the Netherlands, farm- and slaughterhouse-specific characteristics were tested for their effect on Campylobacter and Salmonella prevalence at different stages of the broiler supply chain. Three different sampling points were considered: departure from the farm, arrival at the slaughterhouse, and the end of the slaughterline. Strong associations were found between Salmonella and Campylobacter prevalence at a particular sampling point and their prevalence at the preceding point of the chain. Statistical analyses showed that the country of origin of the broiler farm had a significant effect on the prevalence of Salmonella and Campylobacter at slaughterhouse arrival. The feeding company delivering to the farm also showed a significant effect on the occurrence of both pathogens at departure from the broiler farm. The prevalence of Campylobacter decreased with an increasing number of birds per flock, whereas the prevalence of Salmonella increased with an increasing number of birds per flock. The number of flocks processed within a specific slaughterhouse was not associated with an increased or decreased prevalence of Campylobacter and Salmonella. The results provide more insight into factors related to the occurrence of both pathogens and in understanding their epidemiology. The results can be supportive in decision making on measures to reduce the contamination of broiler products with Salmonella and Campylobacter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abattoirs / standards*
  • Animal Husbandry / methods*
  • Animal Husbandry / standards*
  • Animals
  • Campylobacter / isolation & purification*
  • Chickens / microbiology
  • Food Microbiology
  • Meat / microbiology*
  • Salmonella / isolation & purification*