Poultry Processors

  • Margarida GonçaloEmail author
Reference work entry


Poultry processors are exposed to many physical and biological hazards: infection of skin abrasions by Pyogenic coccus or Erysipelothrix insidiosa (Erysipeloid).

Prurigo-like or scabies-like lesions can develop, mainly in atopics, reacting to Dermatophagoides spp. or Dermanyssus gallinae.

Wet work and glove use favors irritant dermatitis, chronic paronychia, and interdigital web intertrigo aggravated by Candida albicans infection.

Allergic contact dermatitis is due mainly to rubber protection material and disinfectants for the skin and the working surfaces (chlorhexidine, formaldehyde and its releasers, glutaraldehyde).

Skin exposure to the feathers and particularly to the viscera and fluids can cause protein contact dermatitis and contact urticaria.


Allergic contact dermatitis Protein contact dermatitis Wet work Acute prurigo Erysipeloid 


  1. Amaro C, Goossens A (2008) Immunological occupational contact urticaria and contact dermatitis from proteins: a review. Contact Dermatitis 58:67–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barnham M, Kerby J (1984) A profile of skin sepsis in meat handlers. J Inf Secur 9:43–50Google Scholar
  3. Beck HI, Nissen BK (1982) Type I and type IV allergy to specific chicken organs. Contact Dermatitis 8:217–218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bleumink E, Nater JP (1973) Allergic contact dermatitis to dinitromide. Arch Dermatol 108:423–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Harmse JL, Engelbrecht JC, Bekker JL (2016) The impact of physical and ergonomic hazards on poultry abattoir processing workers: a review. Int J Environ Res Public Health 13(2):197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hayashi M, Saitoh M, Fujii N, Suzuki Y, Nishiyama K, Asano S, Hayashi H (1989) Dermatoses among poultry slaughterhouse workers. Am J Ind Med 15:601–605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hjorth N, Roed-Peterson J (1976) Occupational protein contact dermatitis in food-handlers. Contact Dermatitis 2:28–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Katchen BR, Maibach HI (1991) Immediate-type contact reaction: immunologic contact urticaria. In: Menné T, Maibach HI (eds) Exogenous dermatoses: environmental dermatitis. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 51–63Google Scholar
  9. Keefe M, Al-Ghamdi A, Coggon D, Maitland NJ, Egger P, Keefe CJ, Carey A, Sanders CM (1994) Cutaneous warts in butchers. Br J Dermatol 130:9–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Marks JG, Rainey CM, Rainey MA, Andreozzi RJ (1983) Dermatoses among poultry processors: “chicken poison disease”. J Am Acad Dermatol 9:852–857CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Richards TB, Gamble JF, Castellan RM, Mathias CG (1987) Knuckle pads in live-chicken hangers. Contact Dermatitis 17:13–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Sagransky MJ, Pichardo-Geisinger RO, Muñoz-Ali D, Feldman SR, Mora DC, Quandt SA (2012) Pachydermodactyly from repetitive motion in poultry processing workers: a report of 2 cases. Arch Dermatol 148(8):925–928CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Stehr-Green PA, Hewer P, Meekin GE, Judd LE (1993) The aetiology and risk factors for warts among poultry processing workers. Int J Epidemiol 22:294–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Yassien NA, Ghoraba HM, Doghaim NN, Afify EM (1996) Immunohistochemical status of the skin in cases infested with three species of mites. J Egypt Soc Parasitol 26:567–573PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinic of Dermatology, Unit of Skin Allergy, University Hospital and Faculty of MedicineUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

Personalised recommendations