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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Carcass Contamination with Campylobacter During Defeathering

Authors
item Berrang, Mark
item Buhr, Richard
item Cason Jr, John
item Dickens, James

Submitted to: Southern Poultry Science Society Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2000
Publication Date: July 1, 2001
Citation: BERRANG, M.E., BUHR, R.J., CASON JR, J.A., DICKENS, J.A. CARCASS CONTAMINATION WITH CAMPYLOBACTER DURING DEFEATHERING. SOUTHERN POULTRY SCIENCE SOCIETY MEETING ABSTRACT. 2001.

Technical Abstract: This study was designed to test the possibility that escape of feces from the cloaca during picking could cause an increase in numbers of Campylobacter recovered from breast skin. Forty broilers from a flock determined to be Campylobacter negative by fecal sampling were processed in a pilot plant. After exsanguination, while hanging in shackles, each carcass was intra-cloacally inoculated with 108 cfu, and then scalded at 56 C for two minutes. Breast skin along the sternal feather tracts of each carcass was sampled by sponge after scalding and again after passing through a single pass commercial picker. Campylobacter was enumerated by direct plating from the moistened sponges on Campy-Cefex agar. Prior to defeathering, none of the 40 sponge samples were positive for Campylobacter. After passing through the picker, 27 of 40 sponge samples from the same area of the breast were positive for Campylobacter with an average of log10 2.8 cfu per sample. In order to compare these results to those found with birds naturally contaminated with Campylobacter, forty hens from a Campylobacter positive flock were processed in a pilot plant. Breast skin, along the sternal feather tracts, was sampled by sponge before and after passing through a commercial style picker. Prior to defeathering (after scalding), none of the forty sponge samples were positive for Campylobacter. After passing through the picker, 35 of 40 sponge samples from the same area of the breast were positive for Campylobacter with an average of log10 3.4 cfu per sample. These results suggest that some of the increase in Campylobacter numbers recovered from breast skin after defeathering may originate with feces expressed from the cloaca during picking.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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