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Quantitative Investigation of the Effects of Chemical Decontamination Procedures on the Microbiological Status of Broiler Carcasses during Processing

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The effects of elevated chlorine concentrations (25 ppm) added to water in the final carcass washing equipment on total viable counts (TVCs 22°C) and Escherichia coli and Enterobacteriaceae levels on poultry carcasses were investigated. Mean TVC counts on neck skin samples were significantly reduced when pre-evisceration and postwash samples were compared with log10 4.98 to 4.52 CFU/g recovered, respectively (P ≤ 0.05). No significant reductions in TVC counts were observed in control samples at corresponding sampling points subjected to wash water containing 1 to 2 ppm chlorine. E. coli and Enterobacteriaceae counts were not significantly altered following final carcass washing in the processing plant. A second trial assessed the microbial decontamination capabilities of sodium triphosphate (TSP) on broiler carcasses. Neck skin samples from carcasses were obtained before final washing (control), following a 15-s dip in potable water and after dipping in a 10% TSP solution (pH 12) for 15 s. Reductions in E. coli and Enterobacteriaceae counts were all statistically significant for both water and TSP-treated samples when compared with corresponding controls (P ≤ 0.01). The TSP treatment resulted in higher reductions of log10 1.95 and 1.86/g for E. coli and Enterobacteriaceae, respectively. In contrast, reductions of log10 0.37 and 0.31/g were observed for E. coli and Enterobacteriaceae counts when water-dipped carcasses were compared with corresponding controls. Significantly, Salmonella was not detected in any of the TSP-treated carcasses, while log10 1.92 and 1.04/g were found in control and water-dipped samples, respectively. Thermophilic Campylobacter counts were significantly lower in both treatment groups when compared with corresponding controls resulting in log10 0.55 and 1.71/g reductions for water- and TSP-dipped carcasses, respectively (P ≤ 0.01).


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Food Hygiene Laboratory, Department of Large Animal Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland

Publication date: February 1, 2001

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