Global nutritional health company Diamond V summarized recent research on Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. coli in live poultry at the recent EuroTier international animal industry tradeshow in Hanover, Germany.
If farmers can reduce these pathogenic bacteria in the gastro-intestinal tracts of animals on the farm, then they can help reduce the risk of pathogens in food processing and food products.
Diamond V’s Dr. Wael Abdelrahman explored key scientific advances in the emerging field of pre-harvest food safety. He discussed nutritional health solutions to reduce pathogens in live poultry and the reduction of antimicrobial resistance in those pathogens.
Dr. Abdelrahman is the Poultry Technical Service & Business Development Manager for Diamond V in Europe. His areas of special expertise include poultry gut health and immunology, with a focus on optimal poultry production, health risk mitigation, and food safety.
On poultry farms, Dr. Abdelrahman told journalists at EuroTier, conventional approaches such as increased biosecurity, better hygiene, changes to management and husbandry, and improved feed microbial security can help to control foodborne pathogens. However, going forward, major improvements in pathogen risk reduction required new tools to assure greater food safety.
Farmers needed innovative nutritional health solutions, Dr. Abdelrahman said. They needed technologies that were research-proven, field-confirmed, and farm-ready in order to optimize food safety in the ‘pre-harvest’ phase of food production, prior to processing. He added that effective pre-harvest food safety intervention against foodborne pathogens in poultry and other food animals, requires proven reduction in:
Prevalence: Proportion (%) of animal population infected at a particular point of time
Number: Measure of viable bacterial cells (CFU/g, log10, MPN) in collected samples, which multiplied by pathogen prevalence indicates “pathogen load”
Virulence: Ability to cause disease, which indicates the likelihood that someone consuming infected product will become sick
Antibiotic resistance: Ability to survive, reproduce, and cause disease despite antibiotic therapy that had controlled such infection in the past, so that reducing antibiotic resistance increases the likelihood that someone who is infected will respond to therapy
Reduction in the load of pathogens such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. coli entering the processing facility, Dr. Abdelrahman said, can result in lower costs and improved regulatory compliance for the food processor. Reduced pathogen load also helps reduce the risk of product recall, which helps maintain brand integrity and consumer confidence.
Effective pre-harvest food safety intervention, Dr. Abdelrahman said, has further potential to improve animal and human health. Meeting the criteria of reduced virulence and antibiotic resistance means that pathogenic bacteria on the farm may become less of a health risk to farm animals, farmers, workers, and consumers, which can lead to less overall antibiotic usage on farms and more efficacious usage if antibiotics prove necessary.
Nutritional health research published by Diamond V focuses on immunity, digestive health, performance, and pre-harvest food safety, Dr. Abdelrahman noted. More than 125 peer-reviewed published scientific journal articles support the use of Diamond V products in poultry, pigs, dairy and beef cattle, aquaculture species, and other food animals. These products do not treat or prevent diseases, Dr. Abdelrahman said. Rather, they support health and wellness naturally.
Responsibility for safe food begins on the farm and continues throughout the food supply chain all the way to the consumer, Dr. Abdelrahman pointed out. He noted that Diamond V leads in the emerging field of pre-harvest food safety and that nutritional health technologies such as Diamond V’s Original XPC™ help assure safe food while providing a natural, non-antibiotic solution for poultry producers.