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Agriculture 2013, 3(4), 700-714; doi:10.3390/agriculture3040700

Risk Priority Number: A Measuring Instrument for Hygienic Management on Broiler Farms, Reflecting Their Campylobacter Status

1
Department for Data, Statistics, Risk Assessment, Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, Technikerstr. 70, Innsbruck 6020, Austria
2
Department for Data, Statistics, Risk Assessment, Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, Beethovenstr. 6, Graz 8010, Austria
3
Veterinary Administration, Styrian Government, Friedrichgasse 9, Graz 8010, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 June 2013 / Revised: 2 September 2013 / Accepted: 8 September 2013 / Published: 17 October 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety Management and Poultry Production)
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Abstract

Hygiene management is essential for rearing Campylobacter free broiler flocks. In this study, several hygiene factors (e.g., thinning, water supply, stable cloths, stable condition, stable environment, etc.) are categorized and aggregated in a developed risk priority number (RPN). This number is measuring the quality of hygiene management of a broiler farm with one single value (range: 801–4005 points), the higher the RPN, the better is the hygiene status. The distribution of the values is left skewed and none of the 53 examined Austrian broiler farms reached the maximum. Cecal samples (n = 610) from broilers at the point of slaughter determined the Campylobacter status of the farms. Farms with a high RPN consistently produced more Campylobacter free batches than farms with a low RPN. Ranking of the broiler farms based on their RPN was significantly correlated with their microbiological results for Campylobacter detection (Spearman’s correlation coefficient = 0.646). The risk priority number is an easy tool for the assessment and measurement of the hygiene management system at a broiler farm. Besides the educational benefits of the RPN, benchmarking against the mean value or the maximum is possible.
Keywords: Campylobacter; control options; hygiene management; broiler farms Campylobacter; control options; hygiene management; broiler farms
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Matt, M.; Stüger, H.P.; Pless, P. Risk Priority Number: A Measuring Instrument for Hygienic Management on Broiler Farms, Reflecting Their Campylobacter Status. Agriculture 2013, 3, 700-714.

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