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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Poultry Microbiological Safety Research

Title: Comparison of Cumulative Drip Sampling to Whole Carcass Rinses for Estimation of Campylobacter spp. and Quality Indicator Organisms from Processed Broiler Chickens

item Line, John
item Stern, Norman
item Oakley, Brian
item Seal, Bruce

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 13, 2011
Publication Date: August 1, 2011
Citation: Line, J.E., Stern, N.J., Oakley, B., Seal, B.S. 2011. Comparison of Cumulative Drip Sampling to Whole Carcass Rinses for Estimation of Campylobacter spp. and Quality Indicator Organisms from Processed Broiler Chickens. Meeting Abstract. International Association for Food Protection meeting.

Technical Abstract: Introduction: The whole carcass rinse (WCR) procedure is routinely used as a sampling method for determining the presence and number of quality-indicator organisms and pathogens associated with broiler chicken carcasses in processing facilities. Collection of a cumulative drip sample by placing collection vessels under the processing could potentially reflect a more representative sample of bacterial populations associated with an entire flock than individual bird rinses. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate a cumulative drip sampling method for recovery of Campylobacter spp. and three types of quality indicator organisms from broiler carcasses. Methods: Samples were collected on 12 days from commercial broiler processing facility over a three month period. WCR samples were obtained post-evisceration (PEWCR) and post-chill (PCWCR) and drip samples were obtained by placing multiple collection vessels at appropriate points post evisceration, pre-chill, and post-chill on each collection day. Campylobacter spp. were counted by traditional direct plating techniques. Total viable count, Enterobacteriaceae, and E. coli populations were determined using the Tempo automated MPN procedure. Results: Cumulative drip sampling was validated by demonstrating no statistically significant difference between the WCR and cumulative drip sampling methods in recovery of Campylobacter spp., total aerobes, Enterobacteriaceae or E. coli associated with the post-evisceration samples (p>0.2). There was no significant correlation between any of the indicator organisms and Campylobacter spp. As expected, post-evisceration samples had greater numbers of bacteria associated with them than did post-chill samples. Campylobacter spp. (PCWCR mean Log 0.21) were more drastically reduced post-chill than the indicator organisms tested (PCWCR mean Log 1.97), suggesting that in-plant intervention steps in place for Salmonella reduction are effectively reducing Campylobacter spp. populations as well. Significance: The cumulative drip sampling technique may be useful in providing a representative summary of process control in poultry processing facilities.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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