Salmonella in chicken meat and the potential of bacteriophages
Chemical antimicrobials are an industry standard for controlling Salmonella in chicken processing plants, but their effectiveness is declining as the bacteria become increasingly resistant. In addition, these chemicals can also affect the sensory characteristics of the meat.
Therefore, there is a growing trend toward alternative methods of Salmonella control in poultry processing: bacteriophages – viruses that specifically target harmful strains of bacteria such as Salmonella.
Taking into account factors such as regulatory compliance and proper application techniques, the use of bacteriophages in processing plants can be an extremely effective tool in the fight against Salmonella contamination. In addition, their specificity ensures that they attack only problematic bacteria and leave beneficial microbes alone.
As our understanding of bacteriophages continues to grow, they could become an important component in making poultry safe to eat.
The authors Kirsten Wessels, Diane Rip, and Pieter Gouws published these findings in their article Salmonella in Chicken Meat: Consumption, Outbreaks, Characteristics, Current Control Methods and the Potential of Bacteriophage Use, dated 28 July 2021.
Key topics include:
- Controlling Salmonella in poultry processing plants is an ongoing challenge for many factories.
- Outbreaks of Salmonella in food continue to pose a major public health threat.
- Because chicken meat is a good reservoir for Salmonella, it is important for chicken processing plants to continually optimize methods to reduce the occurrence of Salmonella on their products.
- Current methods include the use of chemical antimicrobials such as chlorinated compounds and organic acids. However, these are being used less and less due to the increasing rate of resistance and the difficulty in maintaining sensory properties.
- Bacteriophages are becoming more attractive for integration into large-scale hurdling approaches because they offer host specificity with low selection pressure for resistant properties.
The control of Salmonella in chicken processing plants is an ongoing challenge for many factories around the globe, especially with the increasing demand for poultry escalating processing throughputs.
Foodborne outbreaks due to Salmonella still pose a prominent risk to public health.
As chicken meat is a good reservoir for Salmonella, it is important for chicken processing plants to continuously optimize methods to reduce the incidence of Salmonella on their products.
Current methods include the use of chemical antimicrobials such as chlorine-containing compounds and organic acids. However, these current methods are decreasing in popularity due to the rising rate of Salmonella resistance, coupled with the challenge of preserving the sensory properties of the meat, along with the increasing stringency of antimicrobial use.
Bacteriophages are becoming more appealing to integrate into the large-scale hurdle concept. A few factors need to be considered for successful implementation, such as legislation, and application volumes and concentrations.
Overall, bacteriophages show great potential because of their host specificity, guaranteeing an alternative outcome to the selective pressure for resistant traits placed by chemicals on whole microbial communities.
Keywords: Salmonella; bacteriophage; chicken; poultry.
Copyright: the authors.