Silage and other animal feeds can be tested for undesirable micro-organisms such as Salmonella and Listeria.
About this testing
The silage making process relies heavily on microbial activity. The presence of many species such as Lactic acid bacteria is desirable to ensure good preservation of the feed. During the silage making process the pH of the silage becomes more acidic due to the action of the Lactic acid bacteria, which should also decrease the levels of undesirable micro-organism's such as coliform bacteria, E.coli and pathogens. However the silage making process and subsequent storage of silage can create contamination with undesirable bacterial species such as Salmonella and Listeria.
Hill Laboratories offers analysis for both Salmonella and Listeria to help prevent occurrences of Listeriosis in sheep and cattle resulting from the infection of the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. The source of the bacterium is often linked to contaminated animal feed.
Salmonella and Listeria are reported as present or absent through the use of this quick and easy test.
Taking a sample
Collect 300g of representative sample by collecting a number of small hand grab samples. Use a labelled re-sealable plastic bag or other clean plastic bag and squeeze the air from the bag. Samples should be kept chilled and promptly sent to the lab (normally samples of this nature need to be received within 24 hours). For silage samples which are stored for long periods before use, samples need to be received within 48-72 hours to generate reliable results.