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J Food Prot. 2018 Sep;81(9):1425-1431. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-17-431.

Salmonella Contamination in Broiler Synovial Fluid: Are We Missing a Potential Reservoir?

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1 Center for Meat Safety & Quality, Department of Animal Sciences (ORCID: [J.N.M.]), and.
2 Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80525, USA.


The objective of this study was to assess the presence and characteristics of Salmonella enterica found in the synovial fluid of broiler carcasses. The synovial fluid of three individual joints from 500 broiler carcasses was individually sampled from five broiler processing facilities located in the Southeast and West regions of the United States (1,500 total samples). The external surface of broiler carcass was decontaminated before sampling of the shoulder, coxofemoral, and tibiofemoral joints. Individual samples were enriched, composited, and subjected to rapid PCR-based detection of Salmonella. Individual samples from any positive composites were also enriched before determination of Salmonella presence in the same manner. Positive individual samples were subjected to secondary enrichment before plating onto selective agar for isolation of Salmonella. Salmonella isolates were serotyped before determination of antimicrobial susceptibility. Overall, 1.00% (5 of 500 broiler carcasses) of composite samples and 0.47% (7 of 1,500 samples) of individual samples were positive for Salmonella. Five of the seven isolates were susceptible to all drugs tested and determined to be Salmonella Enteritidis. The remaining two isolates, identified as Salmonella Typhimurium, were resistant to streptomycin. To our knowledge, no previous assessments of Salmonella in the synovial fluid of broilers has been reported; however, results of the present study suggested that the synovial fluid may be a reservoir for Salmonella in broilers. Although the prevalence of Salmonella is low, this information provides valuable insight into potential poultry contamination pathways and warrants further exploration.


Poultry; Salmonella; Synovial fluid

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