Organic Acid’s Dual Role: Improved Bird Health, Safer Processing
Bacteria are one of the major microbes present in poultry. While many bacteria are harmless, there are some pathogenic bacteria which can be detrimental to bird health and performance. Pathogenic bacteria present in poultry can be broadly classified into two categories:
- The first is bacteria which are harmful to the birds such as Escherichia coli or Clostridium perfringens which affect the health and growth of the birds. This type of bacterial infection can be primary – causing disease directly – like E. coli infections, or secondary – happening after another infection – for example, Clostridium infection after coccidiosis infestation.
- The second is bacteria like Salmonella and Campylobacter. They are usually harmless residents of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of the birds, but when the bacterial load is high going into the processing plant, this increases the potential risk of human foodborne illness. Importantly, the probability of meat contamination during processing increases significantly if the bacterial load of the birds is high.1,2
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