Kumar Venkitanarayanan works to reduce Salmonella in chickens.
Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) is the number one poultry-borne pathogen in the United States, and it can infect humans when they eat contaminated eggs. There is no fully effective vaccination for the pathogen. No researchers have used plant products to treat the infection where it starts, in chickens. Until now.
Working with collaborators, Kumar Venkitanarayanan, Professor of Food Microbiology and Safety in UConn’s Department of Animal Science, is trying to control SE in chickens with plant-derived, food-grade antimicrobials. His success so far has national importance in a country where people eat 50 million eggs every year and have increasing concerns about food safety.
National Poultry Science Association President Michael Kidd praised Venkitanarayanan’s work when he said it reflected “the very high quality and forward-looking nature of current poultry research, and its focus on improving the production, safety and quality of poultry products that reach the consumer.”
The four-year project, funded by the USDA, involves investigating the effectiveness and safety of specific antimicrobials by using them as chicken feed additives and disinfecting egg washes to control SE. (more…)