Enterobacteriaceae and Salmonella Recovered from Non-sanitised and Sanitised Broiler Hatching Eggs

Applying a sanitiser was effective in reducing the numbers of Enterobacteria on hatching eggs, a new study by the Agricultural Research Service and University of Georgia has shown, while the number of Salmonella was so low that it was difficult to judge the efficacy of the treatment.
calendar icon 14 November 2014
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Sanitising hatching eggs may reduce the chances that a broiler flock will become colonised with Salmonella and reduce the numbers of other microorganisms, such as Enterobacteriaceae, that can depress hatchability, according to Mark Berrang of Agricultural Research Service, Richard B. Russell Agricultural Research Center in Athens.

Together with co-authors there and at the University of Georgia, they describe in Journal of Applied Poultry Research an experiment conducted to determine if a quaternary-biguanide sanitiser applied as foam or spray would reduce Enterobacteriaceae or Salmonella naturally occurring on broiler hatching eggs.

The sanitiser was applied to buggies of 5,040 eggs the day before set (one buggy per treatment at each of two settings). Treated eggs were compared with untreated controls.

Foam application lowered Enterobacteriaceae prevalence at set (0 versus 18 per cent) and transfer (5 versus 28 per cent). Spraying was effective only when eggs were set (2.5 versus 11 per cent).

At transfer spray, treated and control eggs were 19 per cent Enterobacteriaceae-positive.

Five Salmonella-positives were recorded during the study. No indication that the sanitiser was effective in reducing Salmonella prevalence when applied as foam was observed (3/120 versus 1/120). No Salmonella were recovered from spray-treated eggs.

No statistically significant difference for Salmonella prevalence was noted but with such a low rate of recovery, it is difficult to draw a firm conclusion.

Berrang and co-authors concluded, however, that the sanitiser applied as foam was effective at decreasing the prevalence of Enterobacteriaceae (a family of bacteria that includes Salmonella and Escherichia coli) and is present more often and in higher numbers than Salmonella.


Musgrove M.T., C.B. Stephens, D.V. Bourassa, N.A. Cox, J.M. Mauldin, M.E. Berrang and R.J. Buhr. 2014. Enterobacteriaceae and Salmonella recovered from nonsanitized and sanitized broiler hatching eggs. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 23(3):516-522. doi: 10.3382/japr.2014-00975

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November 2014

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