Egg Industry Center

A comparison of food safety aspects of various hen housing systems including conventional cages, enriched colony cages and cage-free aviary housing systems, this research highlights that environmental and egg microbiology. Environmental swabs and eggshell pools were collected from all housing systems and total aerobes and coliforms were determined along with the prevalence of Salmonella and Campylobacter. Aerobic and coliform counts were highest for aviary environmental drag swabs and enriched colony cage scratch pads and the aviary floor and system wire eggshell pools contained the highest levels of aerobes. Hens from all housing systems were shedding Salmonella but across the three housing systems there was no significant difference in this shedding rate. The research suggests that the use of scratch pads in enriched systems should be more thoroughly investigated for its effects on hen and egg safety.

 

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