Occurrence of Selected Foodborne Pathogens on Poultry and Poultry Giblets from Small Retail Processing Operations in Trinidad

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We conducted a study to determine quantitatively and qualitatively the presence of Campylobacter spp., Escherichia coli, staphylococci, total coliforms, total aerobic bacteria, and Salmonella on broiler carcasses from selected small retail processors in Trinidad. We used standard media and procedures for detection and quantification. All carcass and weep samples were positive for aerobic bacteria, E. coli, total coliforms, and staphylococci. Significant differences in the mean counts of aerobic bacteria were observed for samples of carcass (P = 0.001), weep (P = 0.038), and liver and heart (P = 0.017). There was a significant difference (P < 0.05) in the prevalence of E. coli and Campylobacter for liver and heart samples and gizzard samples across various areas (health divisions) in Trinidad and for Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli for offal samples. The prevalence of Salmonella in carcass, drip, gizzard, and liver and heart samples was 7.3, 3.1, 2.1, and 1.0%, respectively, and three serotypes, Salmonella Kiambu (53.8%), Salmonella Kentucky (38.5%), and Salmonella Mbandaka (7.7%) were isolated. Of the six groups of microbes considered with respect to sale activity, the differences in the prevalence of Campylobacter in medium-activity sale shops (95.8%) and low-activity sale shops (83.3%) and the mean counts of staphylococci for medium-activity sale shops (5.5 ± 0.9) and low-activity sale shops (5.1 ± 0.8) were statistically significant (P < 0.05). Carcasses rinsed in a stagnant system had a significantly higher (P < 0.05) prevalence (92.3%) and mean count per milliliter (3.1 ± 0.7) for Campylobacter compared with 77.8% and 2.7 ± 0.7 for shops that rinsed with constantly running water. The frequency of rinse water change significantly (P = 0.04) affected the prevalence of Salmonella on carcasses. It is recommended that a quality control system be introduced for these shops, particularly with respect to evisceration and rinsing practices.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies 2: Department of Pathology/Microbiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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