Salmonella booklet from DEFRA

DEFRA has published a new booklet offering tips to broiler producers on meeting new salmonella control rules.

The rules which came into force last month are part of the EU Zoonoses measures where each sector has to implement its own National Control Plan. The broiler plan sets out measures to reduce the prevalence of salmonella enteritidis and typhimurium – the strains which pose the highest human health risk – to 1% or less by 31 December 2011.

This will require all commercial broiler flocks to take part in the NCP, testing each flock for salmonella in the three weeks prior to slaughter.

In addition, Animal Health will randomly test 10% of holdings with more than 5000 birds each year. All tests will be carried out using two boot swabs per house, covering 50% of each house. In the case of free range flocks, tests will only be carried out in the housed area.

Poultry producers must keep records of the date when each flock is sampled for salmonella, the identity and age of the flock, the date of slaughter, the laboratory which undertook the analysis, and the result of the tests.

If a flock tests positive for salmonella, arrangements may be made with the abattoir to reduce the possibility of cross contamination of other batches, by arranging for slaughter to take place at the end of the day, for example.

Should a flock test positive for S enteritidis or typhimurium, producers must inform Animal Health. Disease control advice will be given and a notice may be served requiring the producer to clean and disinfect the infected building, which may then be re-tested to verify the serovar has been eliminated.

The rules have already in force for the layer and broiler breeder sectors and it will extend to the turkey sector from January next year.

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