Global nutritional health company Diamond V summarized recent research on Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. coli in live poultry at the recent EuroTier international animal industry trade show in Hanover, Germany. If farmers can reduce these pathogenic bacteria in the gastro-intestinal tracts of animals on the farm, then they can help reduce the risk of pathogens in food processing and food products.
Diamond V's Dr. Wael Abdelrahman spoke of key scientific advances in the emerging field of pre-harvest food safety. He discussed nutritional health solutions to reduce pathogens in live poultry and the reduction of antimicrobial resistance in those pathogens.
Dr. Abdelrahman is the Poultry Technical Service & Business Development Manager for Diamond V in Europe. His areas of special expertise include poultry gut health and immunology, with a focus on optimal poultry production, health risk mitigation, and food safety.
Referring to poultry farms, Dr. Abdelrahman told journalists at EuroTier, conventional approaches such as increased biosecurity, better hygiene, changes to management and husbandry, and improved feed microbial security can help control foodborne pathogens. However, going forward, major improvements in pathogen risk reduction require new tools to assure greater food safety.
Farmers need innovative nutritional health solutions, Dr. Abdelrahman said, technologies that are research-proven, field-confirmed, and farm-ready in order to optimize food safety in the “pre-harvest” phase of food production, prior to processing. He added that effective pre-harvest food safety intervention against foodborne pathogens in poultry and other food animals, requires proven reduction cells in:
- Prevalence: proportion (%) of animal population infected at a particular point of time
- Number: measure of viable bacterial (CFU/g, log10, MPN) in collected samples, which multiplied by pathogen prevalence indicates "pathogen load"
- Virulence: ability to cause disease, which indicates the likelihood that someone consuming infected product will become sick
- Antibiotic resistance: ability to survive, reproduce, and cause disease despite antibiotic therapy that had controlled such infection in the past, so that reducing antibiotic resistance increases the likelihood that someone who is infected will respond to therapy
Reduction in the load of pathogens such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. coli entering the processing facility, Dr. Abdelrahman said, can result in lower costs and improved regulatory compliance for the food processor. Reduced pathogen load also helps reduce the risk of product recall, which helps maintain brand integrity and consumer confidence.
Dr. Abdelrahman said that effective pre-harvest food safety intervention has further potential to improve animal and human health. Meeting the criteria of reduced virulence and antibiotic resistance means that pathogenic bacteria on the farm may become less of a health risk to farm animals, farmers, workers, and consumers, which can lead to less overall antibiotic usage on farms and more efficacious usage if antibiotics prove necessary.
Nutritional health research published by Diamond V focuses on immunity, digestive health, performance, and pre-harvest food safety, Dr. Abdelrahman noted. More than 125 peer-reviewed published scientific journal articles support the use of Diamond V products in poultry, pigs, dairy and beef cattle, aquaculture species, and other food animals. These products do not treat or prevent diseases, Dr. Abdelrahman said. Rather, they support health and wellness naturally.
Responsibility for safe food begins on the farm and continues throughout the food supply chain all the way to the consumer, Dr. Abdelrahman pointed out. He noted that Diamond V leads in the emerging field of pre-harvest food safety and that nutritional health technologies such as Diamond V's Original XPC help assure safe food while providing a natural, non-antibiotic solution for poultry producers.
Wael Abdelrahman, DVM, MVSc, PhD
Following completion of his DVM and Master of Veterinary Science in poultry diseases at Suez Canal University in Egypt, Dr. Abdelrahman received his PhD from the Royal Veterinary College (Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health Group) at the University of London where he has maintained a teaching role as a guest lecturer on poultry health. Dr. Abdelrahman has authored numerous publications and peer-reviewed articles, and co-authored a book on probiotics in poultry production. He has particular interest in how feed ingredients can be used to help reduce antibiotic usage and reduce bacterial resistance to antibiotics.