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Prevalence of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella in retail organic chicken

Husnu Sahan Guran (Department of Food Hygiene and Technology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Dicle University, Diyarbakir, Turkey)
Resat Ciftci (Republic of Turkey Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Batman Directorate of Provincial Agriculture and Forestry, Batman, Turkey)
Nafia Canan Gursoy (Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Inonu University, Malatya, Turkey)
Tuncer Ozekinci (Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul Medeniyet University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Walid Q. Alali (Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Public Health, Kuwait University, Kuwait)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 29 February 2020



The objective of this study was to determine Salmonella prevalence, antimicrobial-resistant phenotypes, and their genetic relatedness in frozen organic chicken collected at retail level in Turkey.


Retail packs (n = 348) of cut-up chicken parts (breast, leg quarter and drumstick) and whole chicken carcasses were purchased from a central hypermarket in Diyarbakir (Southeast Anatolia Region in Turkey) and from a large online retailer in Turkey. The retail packs were paired by part type, brand, production date, and sell-by date. The chicken samples were analyzed for the presence of Salmonella spp., and then isolates were screened for antibiotic susceptibility, class I integron, and genetic similarity.


Salmonella prevalence in retail frozen organic chicken samples was 6.3 percent; however, the prevalence by parts, leg quarter, drumstick, breast, and whole chicken was 2.1 percent, 10.4 percent, 10.4 percent, and 0 percent, respectively. Salmonella prevalence was significantly higher in samples obtained from the hypermarket (9.2 percent) compared to online retailer (3.8 percent). All the isolates were serotype Infantis, genetically similar (highly clonal), and 68.2 percent harbored class I integron. All isolates were resistant to ciprofloxacin (drug of choice to treat salmonellosis in human), and 86.3 percent of the isolates were multidrug-resistant.


Salmonella prevalence in organic chicken meat, regardless of the retail market source in Turkey, may pose a health risk to consumers especially with the high prevalence of multi-drug resistant phenotypes. Findings inform researchers and the public about the safety of organically produced chicken and the potential health risk to consumers.



The authors would like to thank Professor Baris Otlu for his help in performing PFGE. We respectfully dedicate this manuscript to Dr. Nafia Canan Gursoy, who passed away after this study was completed. Her kindness and inspiring spirit are not forgotten. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


Guran, H.S., Ciftci, R., Gursoy, N.C., Ozekinci, T. and Alali, W.Q. (2020), "Prevalence of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella in retail organic chicken", British Food Journal, Vol. 122 No. 4, pp. 1238-1251.



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