PoultryUSA - May 2018 - 22
22 ❙ WATTPoultryUSA
- if not, why
Washing and drying cages
improves food safety but brings
new logistical challenges.
NELSON COX, ET AL.
Campylobacter and Salmonella are leading causes of
human bacterial foodborne disease and are epidemiologically linked to poultry and poultry products. What
is the role of the transport coops for spreading this
contamination in broiler chickens?
Reasons to consider washing
Transport cages have been demonstrated as a significant source of bacterial contamination from one
flock to the next. In 2002, research showed that efforts to control Salmonella (and now Campylobacter)
need to concentrate on crate cleaning and disinfection.
Reasons for transport crate contamination are:
■ Inadequate cleaning
■ Disinfectant concentration and temperature
■ Contaminated recycled flume water used
to clean crates
In a typical commercial operation, broilers are
caught on the farm and placed into cages for transport.
Filled cages are taken to the processing plant, emptied
and immediately put back in service. Soiled transport
coops may or may not be cleaned and sanitized between
uses. Some poultry companies in the U.S. are washing
cages, but - due to ongoing Campylobacter issues and
concerns - cage washing is more common in the U.K.
Obstacles to overcome
In the U.S., many companies not washing their
transport cages may be reconsidering. The main
reasons these companies aren't using cage-washing
systems are the cost and logistics. Major modifications
to the animal receiving and transport area would be
required. Companies would need to change the style of
cages used for catching and transport and install washing and sanitation equipment.
Further concerns include the cost of the chemicals
to wash and sanitize cages as well as containment and
treatment of cage wash runoff water. Drying washed
cages can be an effective antimicrobial strategy. Some
N.A. Cox1, M.E. Berrang1, D.E. Cosby1, M. Robach2, J.L. Northcutt3, D.P. Smith3, C.L. Hofacre4, R.J.
Meinersmann1, B.B. Oakley5, J.L. Wilson6 and A. Hinton, Jr.1 1. The U.S. National Poultry Research Center;
2. Cargill; 3. Clemson University; 4. Southern Poultry Research Group. Inc.; 5. Western University of Health
Sciences; 6. University of Georgia
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ May 2018