Research – Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meeting on the pre- and post-harvest control of non-typhoidal Salmonella spp. in poultry meat

FAO

Conclusions
The expert consultation noted that no single control measure was sufficiently effective at reducing either the prevalence or the level of contamination of broilers and poultry meat with NT-Salmonella spp. Instead, it was emphasized that control strategies based on multiple intervention steps ( multiple or multi-hurdle)would provide the greatest impact in controlling NT-Salmonella spp. in the broiler production chain.
The expert consultation concluded the following: Primary production interventions for the control of NT-Salmonella spp. Biosecurity and management approaches for the control of NT-Salmonella spp.
•At all levels of farm production, stringent biosecurity measures including sanitation and hygiene are important factors to prevent and control NT-Salmonella spp.in flocks.
•It is important for breeding flocks to be NT-Salmonella-free, and this begins at the parent/grandparent flock level and in the production environment. Vaccination-based approaches for the control of NT-Salmonella spp.
•Vaccine-based strategies reduce the prevalence and/or level of shedding of NT-Salmonella spp.in flocks but do not eliminate NT-Salmonella spp. Antimicrobial approaches for the control of NT-Salmonella spp.

 •There was no strong evidence that the use of substances with antimicrobial activity such as additives in feed and water resulted in effective control of NT- Salmonella spp. in broilers. Competitive exclusion/probiotics approaches for the control of NT-Salmonella spp.
•A promising strategy for NT-Salmonella spp. control was a combination of different competitive exclusion products (e.g., probiotics and prebiotics) but there was a limited number of published studies using naturally contaminated chicks and/or under commercial conditions to allow for adequate conclusions. Feed and water characteristics and management approaches for the control of NT-Salmonella spp.
•The efficacy of specific feed- and water-based strategies were study-specific and dependent upon the physiological status of both the pathogen and the animal, the broiler gastrointestinal tract environment, the concentration of the additive, and the method of its application.
•The use of feed modifications, including the acidification of feed and water, are not stand-alone hazard-based control measures for the control of NT-Salmonella spp. in poultry. However, feed-based strategies, when used in conjunction with good hygienic practices, may further reduce NT-Salmonellaspp.in poultry.
•Based on the information available, further studies are needed to assess how extensive scale application of modified feed and management approaches could impact NT-Salmonella spp. levels Bacteriophage-based approaches for the control of NT-Salmonella spp.
•There is limited information as to the effectiveness of bacteriophage-based control of NT-Salmonella spp. at the farm level. Further research is needed, especially in the long-term efficacy of bacteriophage-based control. Processing interventions for the control of NT-Salmonella spp.
•Good hygienic practices are important in minimizing the risk of NT-Salmonella spp. contamination during slaughter and processing.
•The effect of processing interventions on NT-Salmonella spp. are influenced by a variety of conditions, including but not limited to characteristics of the NT-Salmonella strain, pH, agent concentration, temperature, contact time, absorbed dose, product characteristics, and processing parameters.
•There was extensive information on the use of water additives, but the current scientific literature is not sufficient to draw objective conclusions regarding the effectiveness of some of them. However, chlorine-based compounds and organic acids (lactic acid, peroxy acetic acid (PAA), and acidified chlorate solutions) showed potential effectiveness.
•High pressure processing may be effective in reducing NT-Salmonella spp. in poultry meat.
•An extensive body of scientific evidence suggested that ionizing radiation can achieve any level of NT-Salmonella spp. reduction from pasteurization to complete sterility.

 •Other interventions or combinations of interventions, including but not limited to novel additives, thermal processes and physical treatments applied to the meat still require further refinement. Post-processing interventions for the control of NT-Salmonella spp.
•Control measures applied during processing may extend shelf-life and control the growth of NT-Salmonella spp.at the retail or consumer level, however, the literature in this area is sparse and the application of post-processing interventions needs further examination to assess feasibility.
•Emphasis should be placed on encouraging a positive food safety culture through human behaviour and consumer education as it applies to transport, storage, handling and cooking practices.
The experts highlighted several paragraphs in the Guidelines for the Control of Campylobacter and Salmonella in Chicken Meat (CXG 78-2011) that could benefit from an update (Annex 2).Other factors that the expert panel considered that have the potential to impact NT-Salmonella spp. control strategies in the future included changes in climate, broiler value chain, human behaviour and awareness, food safety culture, pathogens and their hosts.
With the advent of next generation technologies including machine learning, omics, tools for traceability and a better understanding of the interactions between Salmonella and the microbiome will lead to more accurate quantitative microbial risk assessments (QMRA) and improved One Health.

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