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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Pathogen Reduction and Processing Parameters in Poultry Processing Systems

Location: Poultry Microbiological Safety Research

Project Number: 6040-41420-017-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Feb 10, 2011
End Date: Feb 09, 2016

Objective:
1. Develop, evaluate, and validate alternatives to current antimicrobials and sanitizers for processing poultry carcasses that meet national and international food safety standards. Specifically, alternatives to chlorine and chlorine dioxide, such as GRAS surfactants, ozone, acidified sodium chloride, and peroxyacids should be examined. 2. Characterize and evaluate poultry processing conditions associated with processed broiler carcasses that are heavily contaminated by Salmonella. This objective will include determining microbial recovery/extraction rates for poultry rinse sampling and examining survival characteristics for Salmonella serotypes that survive processing operations. Sampling should include whole carcasses that are high shedders, and mechanically-separated poultry parts. 3. Conduct studies on extrinsic factors that influence the survival and attachment of pathogenic, spoilage, and indicator microorganisms recovered from commercial poultry processing operations. These include water activity, pH, ozone, metal chelators, and organic acids. 4. Collaborate with the QSARU at Athens to develop emerging technologies for process control and correlate molecular and cultural analysis of microbial communities in poultry with process control and pathogen contamination.

Approach:
Technologies will be developed that can be utilized by commercial processors to reduce microbial contamination associated with poultry processing. Formulations for novel sanitizers will be developed, and improved techniques utilizing sanitizers already approved for commercial use in processing will be designed. Surfactant based sanitizers used alone or in combination with non-chlorine based sanitizers will be examined as alternatives to chlorine and chlorine dioxide for decreasing microbial contamination of poultry. Additionally, poultry processing conditions associated with broiler carcasses heavily contaminated by Salmonella will be evaluated and characterized. Cross contamination during processing will be examined by studying the role of these heavily contaminated carcasses in the spread of Salmonella during processing. Furthermore, factors that influence survival and attachment of pathogenic, spoilage, and indicator microorganisms on poultry skin will be examined. Microorganisms on poultry skin will be examined utilizing Benchtop scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with SEM software and with standard microbiological methods. Finally, in collaboration with the Quality Assessment Research Unit (QARU), correlations between molecular and cultural analysis of microbial communities on poultry skin will be examined and emerging technologies for process control will be developed. Technology will be designed for use in the rapid detection and identification of pathogenic bacteria associated with poultry processing and for the characterization of microbial biofilms on broiler skin. All research goals will be achieved through an interdisciplinary team approach utilizing knowledge and skills of Unit scientists and other scientists who possess unique skills and resources that will aid in the successful completion of this project.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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