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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MICROBIAL ECOLOGY OF HUMAN PATHOGENS RELATIVE TO POULTRY PROCESSING Title: Variations on standard broiler processing in an effort to lessen Campylobacter numbers on post-pick carcasses

Authors
item Berrang, Mark
item Smith, Doug -
item Meinersmann, Richard

Submitted to: International Poultry Scientific Forum
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 13, 2010
Publication Date: January 24, 2011
Citation: Berrang, M.E., Smith, D., Meinersmann, R.J. 2011. Variations on standard broiler processing in an effort to lessen Campylobacter numbers on post-pick carcasses. International Poultry Scientific Forum. January 24-26, 2011. Atlanta, GA.

Technical Abstract: Campylobacter numbers increase on broiler carcasses during defeathering due to leakage of gut contents through the vent. We tested several processing modifications designed to interfere with the transfer of Campylobacter from gut contents to carcass surface. Numbers of Campylobacter detected on breast skin of carcasses treated with each modification was compared to control broilers processed using a standard method. Filling the vent and colon with commercially available canned spray foam did not consistently form an effective plug and Campylobacter numbers increased during picking. Likewise, hanging carcasses with the vent pointed downward during defeathering was not effective to prevent the increase in Campylobacter numbers. Eviscerating carcasses by hand immediately prior to defeathering eliminated the increase in Campylobacter during automated feather picking. However, inadvertent contamination during hand evisceration lead to higher numbers prior to feather removal. Therefore, we tested hand evisceration prior to scald, allowing the scald water to kill and wash away Campylobacter spilled on the carcass during evisceration. Pre-scald evisceration was effective to significantly lessen the increase in Campylobacter on broiler carcasses during automated defeathering. Changing the order of standard broiler processing may help to control contamination with Campylobacter.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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