Preventing Salmonella

A mission of the BSOA is to educate consumers on keeping yourself, your family and your flocks healthy. This includes educating our consumers on Salmonella.

Preventing and educating about Salmonella is a high priority of the BSOA. We care about our consumers, along with the health of their families, and flocks. We want backyard bird keeping to become a lifelong love in those that are already caring for flocks and those that are thinking about it. We know that getting you the correct information and educating you on the risks of Salmonella will help nurture this love and respect for your health and your flock.

What is Salmonella?
Salmonella spreads to people through contaminated food (eggs and meat) or droppings of certain animals, including backyard poultry and fowl. Live fowl like chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys, might have Salmonella in their droppings and on their bodies (feathers, feet, and beaks), even when they appear healthy and clean. While it usually doesn’t make the birds sick, Salmonella can cause serious illness when it is passed to people.  Source: CDC Backyard Poultry

Protecting Yourself and Your Family From Salmonella
1. Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after touching live poultry or anything associated with your flock. Hand sanitizer can be used if soap and water are unavailable.

2. Children younger than 5 years old, people with weak immune systems, or the elderly should not handle or touch live chickens or other live fowl.

3. Live poultry should never enter you house, especially bathrooms, or living areas where food and drink is served, stored, or prepared.

4. Live poultry should never be snuggled, kissed, or held near human mouths.

5. Clean poultry equipment like waterers, feeders, and cages outside. Keep poultry care shoes and clothes separate from street everyday street clothes.

6. Buy birds from hatcheries that participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Poultry Improvement Plan (USDA-NPIP). Visit our laws and regulations page to learn more!

Source: CDC Reducing The Chances of Salmonella


Safe Handling Tips for Eggs and Backyard Poultry
Shell eggs may become contaminated with Salmonella through the laying process, once the eggs are laid, through poultry feed or bedding.
To keep your family healthy, follow the tips below when collecting and handling eggs from a backyard flock:

1.  Always wash your hands with soap and water after handling eggs, chickens, or anything in their environment.

  • Adults should supervise handwashing by young children.
  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.

2. Maintain a clean coop. Cleaning the coop, floor, nests and perches on a regular basis will help to keep eggs clean.

3. Do not wash feed and water dishes indoors or in areas where food is stored or prepared such as the kitchen sink.

4. Don’t let children younger than 5 years, adults older than 65, or people with weakened immune systems from conditions such as cancer treatment, HIV/AIDS or organ transplants, handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry.

5. Collect eggs often. Eggs that spend a significant amount of time in the nest can become dirty or break. Cracked eggs should be thrown away.

6. Eggs with dirt and debris can be cleaned with fine sandpaper, a brush or cloth. Don’t wash eggs, because colder water can pull bacteria into the egg.

7. Refrigerate eggs after collection.

8. Cook eggs thoroughly. Raw and undercooked eggs contain Salmonella bacteria that can make you sick.

9. Know the local regulations around sale of eggs. If you sell eggs, it is important to follow local licensing requirements.

Source: CDC Salmonella and Eggs