Distribution and Quantification of Bioaerosols in Poultry-Slaughtering Plants

Authors: Lutgring, K. R.1; Linton, R. H.2; Zimmerman, N. J.1; Peugh, M.3; Heber, A. J.3

Source: Journal of Food Protection®, Number 7, July 1997, 746-876 , pp. 804-810(7)

Publisher: International Association for Food Protection

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Four poultry-slaughtering plants (2 turkey, 2 duck) were investigated for airborne concentration of microorganisms, including mesophilic and psychrotrophic bacteria and yeasts and molds. Approximately 40 sites were sampled in each plant during four visits (fall, winter, spring, and summer) by using an Anderson N-6 Air Sampler containing either tryptic soy agar (for mesophilic and psychrotrophic bacteria), or Rose Bengal agar (for yeasts and molds). Sampling sites inside the plants were categorized into the following areas: shackling, picking, evisceration, post chiller, cut-up, portion packaging and whole bird packaging. Areas outside the plant were sampled as controls. Airborne microbial counts in each plant were highest in shackling areas and decreased toward the packaging areas. Bacteria were the most common airborne microorganisms identified. In general, mesophilic bacterial counts ranged from an average high of 6 log CFU/m3 in shackling to an average low of 2.5 log CFU/m3 outside the plant. Mean psychrotrophic bacterial levels were usually within 1 log unit (90%) less than mesophilic bacterial levels and ranged from 2.5 to 5 log CFU/m3. Yeasts and molds typically represented only a small proportion of the microbial population and usually were between 2.5 to 4 log CFU/m3. Air flow, distribution, temperature, relative humidity, and design of the slaughtering facility were all important factors affecting overall bioaerosol contamination. This study identified the sources and concentrations of bioaerosols that may affect product safety and shelf life. This information is useful for developing appropriate strategies for poultry-slaughtering plant design.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Health Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA 2: Department of Food Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA 3: Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA

Publication date: July 1, 1997

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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