A risk assessment was conducted for Salmonella enteritidis (SE) in the broiler production chain of the Western Cape of South Africa, using a literature review, historical data analysis, microbiological sampling from abattoirs and questionnaire responses.
A questionnaire to characterise the risk pathway in the broiler chain was developed based on a review of the literature.
Spatio-temporal analysis was conducted using historical data of reported SE outbreaks. The data showed spatio-temporal clustering, however, the analysis was not correct for groups of farms that form part of the same organisation.
Neck skin samples were collected from five abattoirs and tested for salmonella. In total, 499 samples were collected, representing 46 broiler farms of which nine (20%) were positive. Salmonella positive cultures (2.81%) were serotyped. No SE was identified during the study.
The questionnaire was completed for all stages of the broiler production chain. Significant risk factors were found using univariate analysis (Odds Ratio,OR). The significant risk factors identified by OR were further analysed using principal component analysis (PCA). The factors moving with or opposing, farm positivity were analysed using logistic regression and one layer farm was found to be a significant factor. The farms receiving eggs or chicks from that layer farm had a number of factors that were found to be significant using OR and therefore the presence of this layer farm could be a representation of these factors at the broiler farm level.
SE was not identified in the samples collected from abattoirs, a number of other non-typhoidal Salmonella subspecies enterica were isolated. Given the high rates of immunosuppressive diseases within the South African population, it is important for broiler producers to be aware of the zoonotic potential of non-typhoidal Salmonella and continually improve their control measures.