Skip to main content

Partitioning of External and Internal Bacteria Carried by Broiler Chickens before Processing

Buy Article:

$37.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Broiler chickens from the loading dock of a commercial processing plant were sampled to determine the incidence and counts of coliforms, Escherichia coli, and pathogenic bacteria. Feathers were removed by hand from ten 6-week-old chickens from each of seven different flocks and rinsed in 400 ml of 0.1% peptone water. Heads and feet were removed and rinsed, and the picked carcass was also rinsed, each in 200 ml. The ceca, colon, and crop were aseptically removed and stomached separately in 100 ml of peptone water. Campylobacter was present in six of the seven flocks. Salmonella was isolated from 50 of the 70 carcasses, with at least 2 positive carcasses in each flock, and five-tube most-probable-number (MPN) assays were performed on positive samples. Significantly (P < 0.05) more coliforms and E. coli were found in the ceca than in the feathers, which in turn carried more than the other samples, but total external and internal counts were roughly equivalent. Counts of Campylobacter were higher in the ceca and colon than in the other samples. Salmonella was isolated in external samples from 46 of the 50 positive carcasses compared with 26 positive internal samples or 17 positives in the ceca alone. The total MPN of Salmonella was approximately equivalent in all samples, indicating that contamination was distributed through all external and internal sampling locations. Salmonella-positive samples did not carry higher counts of coliforms or E. coli, and there were no significant correlations between the indicators and pathogens in any sample. Campylobacter numbers in the ceca were correlated with Campylobacter numbers in the feathers and colon, but Salmonella numbers in those samples were not correlated. The pattern of bacterial contamination before processing is complex and highly variable.

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, 2007

More about this publication?
  • IAFP Members with personal subscriptions to JFP Online: To access full-text JFP or JMFT articles, you must sign-in in the upper-right corner using your Ingenta sign-in details (your IAFP Member Login does not apply to this website).

    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) 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.

    Print and online subscriptions are available to IAFP Members and institutional subscribers. IAFP Members with a subscription to JFP Online will have access to all available JFP and JMFT content. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Membership and subscription information is available at
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more