January 31, 2023
More than 7,000 birds to be culled in Ireland due to salmonella outbreak
A salmonella outbreak was detected in eight poultry farms in Ireland, resulting in more than 7,000 birds having to be culled to stop potentially-infected chicken products from entering the food chain, Irish Times reported.
Because of the risk to human health posed by the bacteria, restrictions have been imposed in the vicinity of the farms, the majority of which are located in Co Cavan, north of Dublin.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) is collaborating with the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine (DAFM) to contain the outbreak and identify its source.
DAFM said that it was collaborating with the FSAI and the National Reference Laboratory for Salmonella to determine how the outbreak caused by Salmonella typhimurium occurred in multiple areas at the same time.
Following the recall, testing was increased at processing plants and commercial poultry flocks across the country to determine if the outbreaks were caused by a single source. In the coming days, additional testing will be conducted, including whole genome sequencing, to identify specific bacterial strains in circulation and determine if there is a link.
In a statement, the FSAI said that it was cooperating with the DAFM in its investigation. To date, there are no human cases of illness linked to this investigation into the broiler flocks. This on-farm incident occurred as a result of the Western Brand food recall.
The department has informed the FSAI that affected flocks will be culled and will not enter the food chain.
It is believed that the salmonella was discovered in a processing facility, prompting a check back to supplier farms.
Nigel Sweetman, chairman of IFA poultry, said the outbreak was devastating for the flock owners concerned, adding that the affected flocks had been restricted and that there was no threat to human health.
He said the authorities were working to deal with the situation as quickly and effectively as possible, and he urged poultry owners to review their biosecurity measures and be extra vigilant.
- Irish Times