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Acidified Sodium Chlorite Antimicrobial Treatment of Broiler Carcasses

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An acidified sodium chlorite (ASC) solution was investigated for its antimicrobial effects on broiler carcasses processed under conditions similar to those used in U.S. commercial poultry facilities. Of particular interest was the ability of the ASC solution to reduce natural bioburden in a prechill procedure. A number of parameters such as pretreatment washing of carcasses with water (no wash versus water wash), ASC concentration (500, 850, and 1,200 ppm), method of application (spray versus dip), and method of acid activation (phosphoric acid versus citric acid) were explored to evaluate disinfection conditions. ASC dip solutions (18.9 liters) were freshly prepared for groups of five prechill eviscerated carcasses per treatment (n = 10 carcasses). ASC treatment was shown to be an effective method for significantly reducing naturally occurring microbial contamination on carcasses. Reductions following immersion dipping were demonstrated at all disinfectant concentrations for total aerobes (82.9 to 90.7%), Escherichia coli (99.4 to 99.6%), and total coliforms (86.1 to 98.5%). Additionally, testing showed that ASC solutions maintained stable pH and minimal chlorite ion concentration deviations throughout each treatment. The results of the parameter evaluations indicated that maximal antimicrobial activity was achieved in carcasses that were prewashed and then exposed to a 5-s dip in a solution containing phosphoric acid- or citric acid-activated ASC. At 1,200 ppm ASC, a mild but transitory whitening of the skin was noted on dipped carcasses. The results support the methods currently approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the use of ASC solutions as a prechill antimicrobial intervention in U.S. poultry processing plants.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Alcide Corporation, 8561 154th Avenue N.E., Redmond, Washington 98052, USA 2: University of Arkansas, Department of Poultry Science, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2000

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