Litter, Aerosols and Food Safety Pathogens – Summarising a Decade of Research

The State of Queensland acting through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

  • Project code: PRJ-010552

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Wednesday, March 15, 2017

  • Project completion date: Monday, December 23, 2019

  • National Priority: CME-Priority 4-Ensuring food safety of Australian chicken meat


A series of five industry funded research studies focused on “Salmonella and Campylobacter in and around broiler farming environments” were carried out from 2004 – 2014. This body of work comprises five studies funded by both the RIRDC and the CRC. The studies looked at litter management and bird husbandry practices (free-range and conventional) as well as the environmental movement of pathogens (litter and aerosols); The research delivered science driven interpretations to already adopted farming practices enabling the industry gain confidence in addressing food-safety. The research outcomes provided previously unavailable Australian data obtained during commercial farming. This large body of research has been fully described in final reports and a series of scientific publications. However, the extensive and diverse nature of the work means it is difficult for industry to gain full value of this in-depth research.
This project has been designed to extract the key outcomes (and data) of industry relevance from this detailed and varied research, producing a logical, practical, single reference document. It will target the key technical professionals in the poultry industry with a role in food-safety as well as food-safety regulators. The proposal follows industry interest in this research summary presented at PIX 2016.
The project will (a) consult with industry (b) consolidate the available research outcomes to suit a summary document; (c) provide collective interpretations targeting the various end-users of the document (d) provide a succinct document targeting a diverse audience (industry and other professionals) with a role in food-safety and the Australian broiler industry.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

The State of Queensland acting through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Objective Summary

• To assist the poultry industry in having a resource document that will enable them to make better decisions on the management of both Salmonella and Campylobacter levels on-farm and in the processing plant
• To better demonstrate the quantitative approach (enumeration of pathogens) that can be adopted on farm which in turn can enable better management of pathogen numbers (on farm) with positive impacts to end products
• To assist the industry to be better able to address issues related to the environmental movement of pathogens in and around farms
• To develop a resource document for decision makers both at an industry level and external to the industry (or government)
• To provide a document that could be resourced by those responsible for training and dissemination at a farmer level