Author(s): Whyte P, Mc Gill K, Collins JD, Gormley E
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Abstract Contaminated poultry meat has been identified as one of the principal foodborne sources of Salmonella. The development of rapid detection assays for Salmonella would enable official agencies and food industries to identify contaminated foodstuffs in a more timely manner. In addition, these diagnostic tools could allow more 'real time' decisions to be made regarding end product acceptability. In this study, a survey was carried out to determine the prevalence of Salmonella in raw broiler carcasses. A total of 198 neck skin samples were obtained from within 40 flocks at a commercial broiler slaughtering facility. The presence of Salmonella was assessed by traditional culture methods and by a Salmonella-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Salmonella was recovered from 32 (16\%) of all samples using traditional culture methods. In contrast, the PCR assay proved to be more sensitive and detected Salmonella DNA in 38 (19\%) of the samples tested. The pathogen was detected in 45 (23\%) of the 198 samples when culture and PCR results were combined. The sensitivity of the PCR test was also greater than culture when detecting Salmonella from within flocks (53\% of flocks by PCR, 30\% of flocks by culture). The combination of both tests revealed that 55\% of the flocks were contaminated with Salmonella. The PCR assay proved to be a highly specific and sensitive method for detecting Salmonella and the incorporation of a routine PCR test in conjunction with standard culture could be effective in providing a more accurate profile of the prevalence of this pathogen in broiler carcasses.
This article was published in Vet Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Food Processing & Technology