Prevalence of Salmonella and Campylobacter on broiler chickens from farm to slaughter and efficiency of methods to remove visible fecal contamination

J Food Prot. 2014 Nov;77(11):1851-9. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-14-200.


A study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of Salmonella and Campylobacter from farm to slaughter. The efficiency of trimming and water spray (490 to 588 kPa pressure) on the removal of visible fecal contamination from broiler carcasses before chilling was also investigated. Drag swabs were used to sample litter from the farm houses. Samples of ceca and carcasses without and with visible fecal contamination before and after trimming or spray washing of fecal contamination were taken during slaughter of the flocks previously visited at the farms. There was a low prevalence of Salmonella on the litter from the farms (5%) and cecum and carcasses (0%). However, Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli were present in farms' litter (100 and 58.8%, respectively), cecum samples (100 and 70.6%, respectively), and carcasses with (58.8 and 11.6%, respectively) and without (17.6 and 9.8%, respectively) visible fecal contamination. There was high prevalence of C. jejuni but at low counts and low prevalence and high counts of C. coli. Campylobacter lari was not detected in any sample. Trimming the visible fecal contamination decreased the prevalence of C. jejuni but increased occurrence of C. coli. Trimming did not reduce the counts of Campylobacter and of hygiene indicator microorganisms on the carcasses. Water shower reduced the counts of hygiene indicator microorganisms by 20%. Therefore, control measures for preventing introduction of Campylobacter and the use of good hygienic conditions are needed to warrant the microbiological quality and safety of broiler carcasses.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abattoirs / standards
  • Animal Husbandry / methods*
  • Animal Husbandry / standards
  • Animals
  • Campylobacter coli / genetics
  • Campylobacter coli / isolation & purification*
  • Campylobacter jejuni / genetics
  • Campylobacter jejuni / isolation & purification*
  • Cecum / microbiology
  • Chickens / microbiology
  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Food Contamination / analysis
  • Food Contamination / prevention & control*
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Food Handling / standards
  • Meat / microbiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Salmonella / genetics
  • Salmonella / isolation & purification*