About Dairy Wellness

Help avoid Salmonella with a healthy dairy
Posted by Ken Learmont

Salmonella is a risk on dairy operations. Salmonellosis has nearly doubled in dairy herds, with twice the incidence in dairy cows since 1996, a U.S. Department of Agriculture study found.1 Another recent study of more than 400 dairies across the country found that 68% of all dairies tested positive for Salmonella.2 Salmonella can cause salmonellosis in dairy cattle, which could contaminate milk and meat.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2009 to 2010, Salmonella accounted for 30% of foodborne disease outbreaks and caused the most outbreak-related hospitalizations of all foodborne diseases. Foodborne transmission can account for 95% of Salmonella infections,3 and culled dairy cows are a potential source of Salmonella contamination of ground beef.4

Healthy animals can translate to healthy food. Keep your cattle healthy and help prevent Salmonella by:

  • Enforcing on-farm biosecurity. Ask visitors to sign in before walking around the dairy. Provide sanitization protocols for anyone in contact with feed or cattle.
  • Designating hand-wash and boot-sanitization stations around your farm where workers and visitors can easily clean hands and boots.
  • Eliminating birds, rodents and other pests from contact with feed, water and animal housing areas.
  • Limiting manure buildup in holding pens and alleyways.
  • Taking Salmonella culture samples from new herd members, using clean transportation and employing a quarantine protocol for new animals.
  • Feeding pasteurized colostrum or colostrum replacer with properly cleaned and sanitized equipment.
  • Annually vaccinating the entire herd at dry off using SRP® SALMONELLA.
  • Following sanitization procedures outlined in the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance and the National Beef Quality Assurance program. Understanding these laws and guidelines will help you minimize Salmonella risk and secure your dairy from experiencing many other hazards.

No single herd is completely safe from Salmonella. The stress and financial drain associated with a severe outbreak is not worth leaving to fate. Take advantage of the tips provided at to identify your farm’s risk factors. Discuss the results with your veterinarian to create a Salmonella prevention plan and vaccination program for your dairy.

*This product license is conditional. Efficacy and potency test studies are in progress.

1 National Animal Health Monitoring System. Salmonella and Campylobacter on U.S. Dairy Operations, 1996–2007. APHIS Info Sheet, July 2009, #562.0709.

2 Data on file, Study Report No. 13ORFS-01, Zoetis Inc.

3 Mead PS, Slutsker L, Dietz V, et al. Food-Related Illness and Death in the United States. Emerg Infect Dis 1999 (5) 607-625.

4 Arthur TM, Brichta-Harhay DM, Bosilevac JM, et al. Prevalence and Characterization of Salmonella in Bovine Lymph Nodes Potentially Destined for Use in Ground Beef. J Food Prot. 2008;71 (8) 1685-1688.

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