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Quantitative and Qualitative Evaluation of Campylobacter spp. Contamination of Turkey Cecal Contents and Carcasses during and following the Slaughtering Process

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Abstract:

The present study aimed to document quantitatively and qualitatively the contamination by thermotolerant Campylobacter spp. of turkey samples during slaughtering. Four Campylobacter-positive turkey flocks were investigated at the slaughterhouse at three different stages: evisceration (cecal content), after carcass rinses but before chilling (neck skin), and after breast meat cut (meat). In each case, the studied flock was slaughtered first thing in the morning any given day of the week. The efficiency of cleaning and disinfecting operations was examined in the facility prior to processing the studied flock. For each flock, 90 samples were collected from cecal contents, neck skins, and meat pieces and checked quantitatively and qualitatively for Campylobacter. Identification of Campylobacter species was determined by PCR, and genetic patterns were determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Campylobacter contamination levels of ceca range from 2 to more than 7 Log CFU/g, while those of neck skin range from 0.5 to 3.5 Log CFU/g and those of meat range from 0.1 to 1.9 Log CFU/g. These differences in Campylobacter counts were not associated with a modification of Campylobacter species ratio; however, in the Campylobacter jejuni population, four genetic groups identified from the ceca were not recovered during slaughtering operations and two other genetic groups were only detected after chilling at the cutting stage of the breast meat. The present study suggests that the slaughtering process did not affect Campylobacter species populations; however, it might have influenced the strain population. Finally, the Campylobacter populations found on breast meat were similar to those isolated from the digestive tract of the birds.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: AFSSA, Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments, Laboratoire d'Etude de Recherche Avicole et Porcine, Unité Hygiène et Qualité des Produits Avicole et Porcin, BP 53-22440 Ploufragan, France 2: AFSSA, Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments, Laboratoire d'Etude de Recherche Avicole et Porcine, Unité Hygiène et Qualité des Produits Avicole et Porcin, BP 53-22440 Ploufragan, France 3: AFSSA, Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments, Laboratoire d'Etude de Recherche Avicole et Porcine, Unité Hygiène et Qualité des Produits Avicole et Porcin, BP 53-22440 Ploufragan, France;, Email: g.salvat@ploufragan.afssa.fr

Publication date: July 1, 2010

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