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Reduction of Thermotolerant Campylobacter Species on Broiler Carcasses following Physical Decontamination at Slaughter

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To reduce the incidences of human Campylobacter infections, a number of countries are investigating methods for reducing human exposure to Campylobacter from broiler meat. In addition to implementing biosecurity measures at the farm, Campylobacter may be controlled by reducing Campylobacter counts through physical decontamination of the meat. The current study was conducted to compare the Campylobacter-reducing ability of three physical decontamination techniques, forced air chilling, crust freezing, and steam-ultrasound, performed in the plant with naturally contaminated broiler chickens. The effects of all three techniques were evaluated and compared with the effect of freezing. Mean reductions obtained were 0.44 log CFU per carcass, 0.42 log CFU per sample, and 2.51 log CFU per carcass, respectively. All techniques resulted in significant reductions of the Campylobacter concentration on the carcasses (P < 0.05). However, none of the techniques were as effective as freezing based on reductions in Campylobacter counts and on adverse effects. The increase in Campylobacter counts on carcasses following visceral rupture during the evisceration operation also was examined. Visceral rupture resulted in an increase of 0.9 log CFU per carcass, suggesting that Campylobacter counts also may be reduced by optimizing the hygienic design of equipment or by physical removal of fecal contamination.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Microbiology and Risk Assessment, Technical University of Denmark, Moerkhoej Bygade 19, DK-2860 Soeborg, Denmark 28 2: Department of Microbiology and Risk Assessment, Technical University of Denmark, Moerkhoej Bygade 19, DK-2860 Soeborg, Denmark 28;, Email:

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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