From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July 1996:
NEW ORLEANS––Peter Holt of
the USDA research service station in
Athens, Georgia, on May 20 told the
American Society of Microbiologists
that the standard technique of starving
hens for a week to 10 days to make
them molt and lay more eggs also
drastically increases their susceptibility
“A normally fed bird required
something around 50,000 salmonella
bacteria to cause an infection,” Holt
said of his findings. “With the molted
birds it was less than 10.” Of the 46.8
billion eggs produced per year on U.S.
farms, the USDA estimates, about 14
million carry salmonella.
The same day, the trade journal
F e e d s t u f f s reported that an antibioticresistant
salmonella strain caused
3,500 human illnesses last year in
Britain, triple the 1994 count.
Unable to find records on
any U.S. cases, but concerned that
“the new strain has been found in
chicken, hamburgers, and sausages,”
reinforcing speculation that “the use
of antibiotics in meat and poultry production
may have led to an increase in
antibiotic-resistant strains,” American
Veterinary Medical Association assistant
director of membership and field
services Lyle Vogel, DVM, on May
23 issued an Internet appeal for information.
Little was forthcoming.