How to control Salmonella in poultry?

How to control Salmonella in poultry?

Salmonella control strategies in poultry can be categorized into three main groups: 

How to control Salmonella in Breeding and Broiler Farms?

Salmonella control measures start at the breeding farms, where strict biosecurity protocols are implemented to prevent the introduction and spread of Salmonella. 

  • Good management practices are crucial on broiler farms. This includes maintaining a clean and hygienic environment, proper waste management, and implementing biosecurity measures. 
  • Introduce salmonella-free birds and ensure they are in good health. 
  • Restricted access to the farm is important, and facilities such as showers and changing rooms should be provided for workers and visitors. 
  • Non-essential visitors should be limited, and only essential visitors who wear protective clothing and disinfected boots should be allowed on the farm.
  • Simple measures like foot baths, wheel baths, hand hygiene, and minimizing movement between different animal houses should be implemented properly. 
  • Proper cleaning and disinfection of buildings, surfaces, fans, cooling pads, and equipment is necessary. 
  • Creating a clear zone free from vegetation around the building helps discourage rodent and insect traffic.
  • Ensuring that breeding flocks are kept Salmonella-free is crucial as Salmonella can be transmitted vertically from parent to chick.
  • Implementing an all-in/all-out management system helps prevent the spread of Salmonella. Vector control measures should be in place to manage wild birds, flies, and rodents. 
  • Usually, pelleted feed, thanks to heat treatment, contains less Salmonella compared to non-pelleted feed. The addition of organic acids can enhance Salmonella destruction. 
  • Regular monitoring of the total production chain. The sampling of poultry flocks is conducted according to European legislation to monitor the production chain.

When Salmonella is detected, immediate action should be taken, including determining the origin of the infection. Poultry flocks should only be moved for slaughter or destruction at the end of the production cycle. Disposal of poultry litter/feces and other potentially contaminated farm waste is necessary. Thorough cleaning and disinfection of the poultry house and equipment should be carried out. Bacteriological examination should be performed before restocking the facility, and adequate time should be allowed between flocks, especially if the previous flock was Salmonella-positive.

Overall, buildings, surfaces, and equipment should be cleaned and disinfected properly to maintain effective biosecurity and hygiene measures. This includes controlling access, implementing hygiene practices, and regularly monitoring and testing for Salmonella.

How to control Salmonella during the catching and transport process?

  • During the catching process, care is taken to minimize stress to the birds and prevent cross-contamination. Workers should follow proper hygiene practices and use clean equipment to avoid introducing Salmonella.
  • Transport vehicles used to move broilers to the slaughterhouse can be a potential source of Salmonella contamination. Proper cleaning and disinfection of vehicles, along with adherence to biosecurity measures, are necessary to prevent the spread of Salmonella.
  • Every time after unloading a flock, all the containers, crates, and vehicles used have to be cleaned and disinfected.

How to control Salmonella in slaughterhouses?

  • Stringent hygiene practices are followed at the slaughterhouse to minimize Salmonella contamination. This includes proper cleaning and disinfection of equipment and facilities, implementation of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) systems, and regular monitoring and testing for Salmonella.
  • The most important measure is to divide the slaughterhouse into two main areas: The first one is the dirty zone where slaughtering, scalding, de-feathering and evisceration take place. The other one is the clean zone, where all the other procedures are carried out at low temperatures and under precise hygiene controls.
  • During the process of defeathering and evisceration, Salmonella-positive birds can contaminate the carcass and the slaughter equipment, as well as cross-contaminate the carcasses of subsequently slaughtered flocks. To address this issue, certain measures can be taken.
  • One effective measure is to ensure a single counter-flow movement of water during the scalding process. Additionally, maintaining the pH of the scalder bath water below 6.5 can help reduce microbial contamination of both the birds and the scalding water. It is recommended to maintain the scalder water temperature between 51-53 °C.
  • Proper control of chilling parameters is crucial in reducing Salmonella and other microbial growth. This includes managing factors such as air temperature, air movement, relative humidity, and filtering the air in the chilling process.
  • Using peracetic acid in the water chiller with precise dosage and sufficient contact time can effectively reduce Salmonella and other microbial contamination on the bird’s skin. This helps improve overall hygiene and safety of the carcasses.

How to control and prevent Salmonella?

Regarding your facilities, you need specific prevention or control measures. The most important measures are appropriate hygienic practices, thorough cooking and refrigeration. 

Below you can find different prevention and control measures depending on the facilities you are.

How to prevent and control Salmonella at a household level and retailers?

How to prevent and control Salmonella in animal feed and feed ingredients?


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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases (DFWED)

Ontario Ministry of Health, Ministry of Long-Term Care, Salmonellosis

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