Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 19, 2004
Publication Date: July 25, 2004
Citation: Northcutt, J.K., Smith, D.P., Musgrove, M.T., Ingram, K.D., Hinton Jr, A. 2004. Effects of spray washing with different chlorine levels and water temperatures on broiler breast carcass skin color and carcass bacteria recovery [abstract]. Poultry Science. 83(suppl.1):155. Technical Abstract: A study was conducted to investigate the effects of chlorinated (sodium hypochlorite) spray washing using various water temperatures on broiler breast skin color and carcass bacterial populations. The experiment was a 2 x 3 randomized block design using 0 or 50 PPM added chlorine in tap water at a temperature of 21, 43 or 54'C. Breast skin color was measured and carcasses were subjected to a whole carcass rinse (WCR) before washing (Pre-treatment). Broiler cecal contents (4.95 g) were inoculated with a co-suspension containing 107 cells of Campylobacter and nalidixic acid resistant Salmonella. Final concentration of the inoculum was 104 cells per gram, and each carcass was inoculated with 0.1 grams of cecal contents. Inoculated carcasses were held at room temperature for 12 min before washing in a cabinet washer (80 psi for 5 sec). Immediately after washing, carcasses were subjected to a WCR, and breast skin color was measured again (Post-treatment). Tap water pH ranged from 7.2 to 7.6, and contained an average of 0.5 PPM free chlorine. After the addition of 50 PPM chlorine, water pH increased to 8.2 to 8.4. Washing temperature and additional chlorine had no effect on the breast skin color, with average values of L* = 66.6; a* = -0.09; b* = -0.05. Moreover, washing temperature and additional chlorine had no effect on total aerobic bacteria, E. coli, and Campylobacter levels on carcasses. Pre- and Post-treatment counts were found to be 4.6, 3.6, and 3.5 log10 cfu/mL rinse for total aerobic bacteria, E. coli, and Campylobacter, respectively. No nalidixic acid resistant Salmonella were found on Pre-treatment carcasses, and average Post-treatment levels were 3.1 log10 cfu/mL rinse irrespective of treatment. Under the conditions outlined in the present study, chlorine level and water temperature had no effect on broiler breast skin color or carcass bacterial populations.