More than 130 poultry and egg industry environmental professionals recently gathered in Destin, Fla., to attend USPOULTRY’s Environmental Management Seminar. This year’s seminar focused on environmental regulations and management associated with the live production and processing of poultry and egg products. Industry professionals, consultants, university personnel and representatives of allied industry addressed a wide variety of topics including increasing the quality of stormwater runoff, environmentally efficient mortality disposal methods and a broad look at how peracetic acid is affecting the industry.
In his presentation on “Controlling Solids & Bacteria in Stormwater,” Warren Howe, vice president at Woodruff & Howe Environmental Engineering, reviewed various methodologies used for solids removal, bacteria reduction and potential pitfalls that accompany various practices. He described prevention techniques, best management practices and identified a number of products that could be utilized to mitigate and remove solids and bacteria in stormwater runoff.
Josh Payne, technical services manager for Jones-Hamilton Co., provided lessons learned on how to manage mortality and address avian influenza outbreaks through heat activation by using above ground composting methods. He outlined proper composting procedures that are environmentally friendly, follow biosecurity protocol, degrade poultry carcasses, control odors, reduce fly exposure and inactive the HPAI virus.
Juanfra DeVillena, director of quality assurance and food safety for Wayne Farms, LLC, elaborated on the use of peracetic acid (PAA) by a majority of the industry to enhance food safety. He reviewed each processing step that occurs in a plant to identify how often and how much PAA can be used. DeVillena also discussed various products marketed as PAA and pointed out their efficacy and ability to carry over downstream of the intervention point depends on many factors, including percentage of PAA and hydrogen peroxide in the mixture, length of time the mixture is cured, pH of the water and the mixture’s exposure to sunlight.
A highlight of the seminar was the presentation of USPOULTRY’s annual Clean Water Award which recognizes wastewater treatment facilities that operate at poultry and egg processing plants. Awards are given in two categories, pretreatment and full treatment. This year, Tyson River Valley Animal Foods in Scranton, Ark., was named the winner in the full treatment category and Keystone Foods in Gadsden, Ala., won the award in the pretreatment category. American Proteins in Cumming, Ga., and Wayne Farms in Pendergrass, Ga., received honorable mention awards for the full treatment category. Pilgrims in Guntersville, Ala., received an honorable mention award for the pretreatment category.