Effect of Prechill Fecal Contamination on Numbers of Bacteria Recovered from Broiler Chicken Carcasses Before and After Immersion Chilling
Authors: Cason, J.A.; Berrang, M.E.; Buhr, R.J.; Cox, N.A.
Source: Journal of Food Protection®, Number 9, September 2004, pp. 1824-2074 , pp. 1829-1833(5)
Abstract:Paired carcass halves were used to test whether fecal contamination of skin during processing of broiler chickens can be detected by increased bacterial counts in samples taken before and after immersion chilling. In each of three trials, six freshly defeathered and eviscerated carcasses were cut in half, and a rectangle (3 by 5 cm) was marked with dots of ink on the breast skin of each half. One half of each pair was chosen randomly, and 0.1 g of freshly collected feces was spread over the rectangle with a spatula. After 10 min, both halves were sprayed with tap water for 10 to 15 s until feces could no longer be seen in the marked area. Both halves were sampled with a 1-min carcass rinse and were then put in a paddle chiller with other eviscerated carcasses for 45 min to simulate industrial immersion chilling. Immediately after chilling, each carcass half was subjected to another 1-min rinse, after which the skin within the rectangle was aseptically removed from the carcass halves and stomached. Rinses of fecally contaminated halves had significantly higher Enterobacteriaceae immediately before chilling, but there were no differences in coliform and Escherichia coli counts. After chilling, there were no differences in Enterobacteriaceae, coliform, and E. coli counts in rinse or skin samples from the paired carcass halves. Correlations were generally poor between counts in rinse and skin samples but were significant between prechill and postchill rinses for both control and fecally contaminated halves. Correlations were also significant between counts in rinses of control and contaminated halves of the same carcass after chilling. Bacterial counts in postchill carcass rinses did not indicate that fecal contamination occurred before chilling.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Russell Research Center, P.O. Box 5677, Athens, Georgia 30604-5677, USA
Publication date: September 1, 2004
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