Poultry meat is a significant source of food poisoning throughout most of the developed world. In England and Wales it has been regularly implicated in human salmonellosis, and during 1984‐5 was the apparent vehicle of infection in 32 per cent of family and general outbreaks. From 1988 onwards the explosive increase in UK food poisoning due to Salmonella enteritidis phage type 4 has further implicated poultry because of the particular association of this organism with chickens. The present situation provides a considerable challenge for the industry, where the modern scale and conditions of breeding, rearing and processing are highly conducive to the spread of minority organisms such as salmonellas. It also highlights the need for improved control measures, especially for protecting flocks against salmonella infection to reduce the hazard of subsequent cross‐contamination in the processing plant.
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