The objective of the voluntary monitoring program for broiler producers is to establish the relative prevalence of Salmonella Enteritidis (S.E.) in parent breeding flocks. The program also will provide a framework for the broiler industry to address S.E. as a potential food safety concern.
Dr. Phil Stayer, Sanderson Farms, and current president of the Association of Veterinarians in Broiler Production, chaired the committee. Also participating were representatives from USPOULTRY member firms, the American Association of Avian Pathologists, the National Chicken Council and USA Poultry & Egg Export Council.
Mr. Yancy will begin to encourage broiler integrators to participate the program and will seek volunteers to form a poultry industry coalition that will collaborate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety & Inspection Service to address S.E. in broilers.
"The Food Safety and Inspection Service has stated that S.E. has been increasing at the same time the overall prevalence of Salmonella spp. has been declining in broilers," Mr. Yancy said. "This new N.P.I.P. program will add some context to discussions on this matter by helping us learn the relative prevalence of S.E. in U.S. meat-type parent breeding flocks. Only then can we know how serious the issue is, and begin to figure out what can be done about it.”
It's too early for definitive answers, he added. "If S.E. prevalence is increasing in broilers, it will take some time to figure out why, and determine what actions will be necessary to address such a trend,” he continued. “In the meantime, broiler producers should continue to monitor all the other Salmonella information they routinely gather, to help guide their decision-making regarding the appropriate live operations programs to implement, or maintain, to address the relative potential of this food-safety concern.”