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Performance Trace Minerals Can Help Control Salmonella Typhimurium in Poultry

Poultry Processing
Dr. Marco Rebollo, DVM

Lead Researcher – Poultry
Zinpro Corporation

Despite today’s food supply being safer than ever before, 1-in-6 Americans become sick each year due to foodborne illness. Annually, there are an estimated 2 million cases of Salmonella resulting in 2,000 deaths in the United States.

Between 1998 and 2008, more foodborne illnesses were caused by poultry than any other meat, with Salmonella spp. being the primary risk factor for Salmonellosi/s in humans consuming poultry meat and table eggs. The sources of contamination before harvest can include flies, insects, rodents and wild birds that carry Salmonella and get into the chicken houses. It can also be transmitted by transportation coops, litter and sometimes contaminated feed.

Poultry operations can help to control Salmonella Typhimurium through proper sanitation strategies and by improving intestinal strength with the use of performance trace minerals as a part of your poultry nutrition program.

Performance Trace Minerals Strengthen Intestinal Tight Junctions, Which Helps Prevent Contamination

Feeding performance trace minerals as a part of your poultry nutrition program can help maintain intestinal epithelial tissue integrity by strengthening tight junctions and the intestinal barrier, which helps prevent contamination. During periods of stress and disease challenges, strong gut integrity is critical in order to prevent bacteria from breaking into the system and infecting organs. Feeding Zinpro Performance Minerals® helps manage Salmonella through four primary mechanisms:

  • Cell renewal in epithelial tissue, mainly in the intestinal tract and skin
  • Faster healing
  • Strengthening tight junctions and intestinal barrier to maintain epithelial tissue integrity
  • A more robust immune response to bacteria, pathogen or toxin challenges

A trace mineral research study conducted at Auburn University revealed that birds fed zinc from Availa®Zn showed increased intestinal strength. Additionally, feeding Availa-Zn resulted in decreased skin scratches in poultry, as well as decreased sores and scabs on their thighs and backs. The study also showed that E. coli and Salmonella Enteritidis were significantly reduced when zinc from Availa-Zn was added to zinc sulfate or when Availa-Zn and Availa-Mn replaced a part of the poultry nutrition plan. When trying to re-isolate Salmonella Enteritidis from the liver, the number of Salmonella-positive birds was reduced by more than 39 percent.

A summary of 23 data sets in six studies showed that feeding broilers zinc and manganese in the form of performance trace minerals resulted in a 15.3 percent average increase in intestinal epithelial strength and elasticity. Since intestinal breakage in the processing plant is an important source of cross contamination any way to improve intestinal strength will help to reduce it.

Controlling Salmonella Typhimurium Through Production

Most Salmonella are living in the environment and in the contaminated gut, but most control strategies involve environmental sanitation, including competitive exclusion and sanitizing the hatchery. Studies in the U.S. have shown that when eggs in the hatching cabinet are positive to Salmonella, 80 percent of the eggs above and below will also become contaminated.

Although not permitted in Europe, U.S. producers can use citric acid with hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid with ammonium sulfate in the scalder to decrease bacterial levels by almost 99.95 percent. Using immersion chillers with chlorine has reduced the incidence of Salmonella on chickens going to the grocery store to 5.19 percent in the U.S. as of 2010, compared to 16 percent in Europe and 35 percent in Australia.

To learn more about controlling Salmonella in poultry by feeding Availa-Zn or Availa-Mn to help improve intestinal strength, contact a Zinpro representative today.

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