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Does water spray lower the presence of Campylobacter on broiler transport coop flooring?
During the course of catching, transporting and holding at the plant, broilers can spend from three to 12 hours in transport coops. While held in these coops, broilers continue to defecate, resulting in soiled coop surfaces. This is especially problematic because feces expressed during this time may be more heavily contaminated with Campylobacter due to stress.
This paper shows the results of a lab-scale and a commercial plant study of the effect of water spraying to lower the presence of Campylobacter on broiler transport coop flooring. In the lab-scale study, a number of intestinal tracts were collected from the evisceration line in a commercial broiler processing plant, and the contents of each intestinal tract (small intestine, cecum and colon) were removed by manual expression and combined in a sterile specimen cup. The gut contents were then inoculated with 107 cells per gram of Campylobacter, and one gram was placed on each of multiple small squares of coop flooring and spread evenly with a spatula.
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A separate study was done at a commercial slaughter plant to determine the effectiveness of an automated transport cage washing system. Surface swabs of flooring in cages were collected before washing, after washing and again after sanitizer application, and cultured for Campylobacter. Prevalence of Campylobacter was significantly reduced from 26 percent positive samples from unwashed flooring to 7.4 percent following wash and sanitizing (Northcutt and Berrang, 2006).