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Comparison of Destructive and Nondestructive Sampling Techniques of Retail Chicken Carcasses for Enumeration of Hygiene Indicator Microorganisms

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The type of sampling technique used to obtain food samples is fundamental to the success of microbiological analysis. Destructive and nondestructive techniques, such as tissue excision and rinsing, respectively, are widely employed in obtaining samples from chicken carcasses. In this study, four sampling techniques used for chicken carcasses were compared to evaluate their performances in the enumeration of hygiene indicator microorganisms. Sixty fresh chicken carcasses were sampled by rinsing, tissue excision, superficial swabbing, and skin excision. All samples were submitted for enumeration of mesophilic aerobes, Enterobacteriaceae, coliforms, and Escherichia coli. The results were compared to determine the statistical significance of differences and correlation (P < 0.05). Tissue excision provided the highest microbial counts compared with the other procedures, with significant differences obtained only for coliforms and E. coli (P < 0.05). Significant correlations (P < 0.05) were observed for all the sampling techniques evaluated for most of the hygiene indicators. Despite presenting a higher recovery ability, tissue excision did not present significant differences for microorganism enumeration compared with other nondestructive techniques, such as rinsing, indicating its adequacy for microbiological analysis of chicken carcasses.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-11-247

Affiliations: Departamento de Veterinária, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Campus Universitário, 36570-000, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, 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.

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