Campylobacter has gained a growing importance within the poultry industry around the world given its risk to human health. Therefore, all measures possible must be taken along the broiler production and processing chains to either avoid or ideally eliminate its presence in the final chicken meat products, thus protecting consumers’ health.

A very interesting joint research - "Forced hot air to dry feces and kill bacteria on transport cage flooring" - conducted by USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Russell Research Center and University of Georgia, Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center, Athens, Ga., and authored by M. E. Berrang, C. L. Hofacre and R. J. Meinersmann, came up with some important conclusions that may be of help in reducing the potential the transport cages have to cross-contaminate Campy-free birds during transportation with the Campylobacter shedded in the feces of positive birds.

The research concluded, after evaluating the effectiveness of different treatments on the micro flora reduction, that applying flowing hot air at 50°C for 15 min to previously water-spray washed transport cages lowered the numbers of Campylobacter to an undetectable level. The authors concluded that this result represents a tremendous savings in drying time and suggests a potential commercial application. The abstract can be read and the full report is available for subscribers in the latest issue of Journal of Applied Poultry Research, December 2011 vol. 20 no. 4 567-572.