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An Evaluation of Improvements in Carcass Hygiene through the Use of Anal Plugging of Pig Carcasses Prior to Scalding and Dehairing

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This study evaluated the effect of plugging the anuses of pork carcasses prior to scalding and dehairing on Enterobacteriaceae contamination on pork carcass surfaces. Results showed that Enterobacteriaceae counts around the anuses of unplugged carcasses increased by 1.15 log CFU/cm2 after the scalding and dehairing process, while counts in the same sample area from plugged carcasses showed no significant change in Enterobacteriaceae numbers. The percentage of plugged carcasses with Enterobacteriaceae counts (measured around the anuses of carcasses) below the level of detection (<1 log) was 23.5%, whereas only 2.9% of unplugged carcasses were below this level. In the context of a multiple-hurdle approach where incremental reductions in microbiological counts may be seen as positive, anal plugging may have particular benefit.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Food Refrigeration and Process Engineering Research Centre, Grimsby Institute, HSI Building, Origin Way, Europarc, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire DN37 9TZ, UK 2: Division of Farm Animal Science, University of Bristol, Langford House, Langford, Somerset BS40 5DU, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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