Recent research funded by the Center for Produce Safety (CPS) found that Salmonella cells may be more heat resistant during poultry litter heat treatments. This can be an issue because heat treatment is used to reduce or eliminate pathogenic microorganisms. A two-year project conducted at Clemson University is examining how moisture and heat treatment can work together to inactivate Salmonella in chicken litter. Researchers are about half way through the project and are working with two large poultry litter processors to validate heat-treatment processes in an industrial setting, and are using Salmonella surrogate and indicator microorganisms that the researchers identified in the study.
The goal of the study, according to investigator Xiuping Jiang, Ph.D. of Clemson University, is to help create guidelines that include residence time, temperature and moisture levels, and tools to assist the fertilizer industry in providing more microbiological safety in their products.
More details about the study, “Validating a physically heat-treated process for poultry litter in industry settings using the avirulent Salmonella surrogates or indicator microorganisms”, are available on the CPS website.