Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
The objectives of this study were to: 1) perform a survey of South Carolina poultry farms to determine if the methods implemented resulted in the destruction of foodborne pathogens, and 2) determine the survival of E. coli O157:H7 in a dairy manure-based compost performed in uncontrolled environmental conditions.
In the survey of poultry farms Ninety-one (91) of 141 compost samples analyzed were positive for coliform populations ranging from 1.00 to 6.00 log10 CFU/g. Among finished compost samples (n=21), ca. 62%, 33%, and 14% were positive for coliforms, presumptive Salmonella, and presumptive Listeria, respectively.
In the investigation of the survival of E. coli O157:H7, the pathogen survived at the heap's surface for up to 4 months. The indicator microorganism, E. coli, was inactivated at a rate similar to that of E. coli O157:H7.
Our studies demonstrated that foodborne pathogens may persist for extended periods of time in the compost surface.
Shepherd, Marion, "The microbiological analysis of composting" (2007). All Theses. 146.