Salmonella testing of turkey flocks

Dear Sir/Madam

There are new compulsory requirements in place for Salmonella testing of both breeding and slaughter turkeys. These are part of an EU wide initiative to reduce Salmonella levels in poultry. If you do not use a processing plant than this legislation does not apply to you.

What you have to do now -

If you have a flock for slaughter you are required to sample the flock three weeks before the flock moves to slaughter.

Samples should be sent by express mail or courier service within twenty-four hours of collection to any of the approved laboratories that are listed in this letter.

You must keep records of sampling on farm for a minimum of three years to include the date the sample was taken, the house number and the laboratory result. If you have more than one house on site then all houses need to be sampled.

Birds cannot be sent for slaughter unless they are accompanied by the test result, (please contact your processing plant for further information) which should be entered on the food chain information document, the laboratory test result or by some other suitable means of communication that verifies the Salmonella status of the flock. If the status of your flock is not verified before slaughter it will be treated as a Salmonella positive flock and will be slaughtered and processed accordingly.

Records should also be kept on the premises to include date birds moved in and out, house number, and the address from which they came and the address to where they went.

Please retain these records and results at the farm. The legislation on this subject is the European Communities (Control of salmonella in turkeys) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 99 of 2010).

Please contact your processing plant or the Laboratory listed below for further information.

Yours sincerely

Marie Hoban (DOA)



Method for salmonella sampling in turkey flocks


1.             Fattening flocks


         The sampler (you) should at all times follow biosecurity procedures as outlined by their private veterinary practitioner (PVP).


         Once inside the house, plastic overboots are put on over disinfected footwear. This prevents disinfectant from footbaths contaminating the boot/sock swabs.

   Moisten the boot/sock cover with maximum recovery diluent (MRD: 0,8 % sodium chloride, 0,1 % peptone in sterile deionised water), or sterile water or any other diluent approved by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF).- Ask your Vet to recommend. The use of farm water containing antimicrobials or additional disinfectants is not allowed. The recommended way to moisten the boot/sock covers is to pour the liquid inside them before putting them on. Alternatively, boot swabs or socks can be autoclaved with the diluent within autoclave bags or jars before use. The diluent can also be applied after the boots are put on, by using a spray or wash bottle.


   At least two pairs of boot/sock swabs are to be taken. All sections in a house must be represented in the sampling in a proportionate way. Each pair of boot/sock swabs should cover about 50 % of the area of the house. (Alternatively, one pair of boot/sock swabs can be taken, which covers 100% of the area of the house, if it is combined with a dust sample collected from multiple places throughout the house from surfaces with visible presence of dust).


         After sampling remove the boot/sock swabs carefully, so as not to dislodge adherent material. The swabs can be inverted to retain the material. Place the swabs in a bag or pot and label accordingly.


         Samples should be sent by express mail or courier service within twenty-four hours of collection to any of the approved laboratories that are listed in Annex 1 attached.


For free range flocks of turkeys samples are only to be collected from the area inside the house.


For flocks with less than 100 turkeys, and where it is not possible to use boot/sock swabs as access to the houses is not possible, the boot/sock swabs can be replaced by hand drag swabs, where the boot swabs or socks are worn over gloved hands and rubbed over surfaces contaminated with fresh faeces, or if not feasible, by other sampling techniques for faeces fit for the intended purpose.




Annex 1


Laboratories approved to conduct salmonella testing of turkey flocks

Poultry Veterinary Service Monaghan Veterinary Laboratory

Cootehill Clones Road

Co Cavan Monaghan

049-5555761 047-71900

Complete Laboratory Solutions Oldcastle laboratories Ltd

Ros Muc Cogan Street

Connemara Oldcastle

Co. Galway Co. Meath

091-574355 049-8541160

Enva Ireland Ltd Q-Lab Ltd

Raheen Industrial Estate P.O. Box 27

Ringaskiddy Road Kerlogue Industrial Estate

Monkstown Drinagh

Co Cork Co Wexford

021-4387200 053-45600


Microlab Ltd Mid-Antrim Laboratory Service

Drumillard Little 42A Broughshane Rd

Monaghan Road Ballymena

Castleblaney Co. Antrim
Co. Monaghan 048-25644051