Food and environmental safety of pasture-raised broilers processed on-farm, in a Mobile Processing Unit and a small USDA-inspected facility
Trimble, Lisa Michelle
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The objectives of this study were to quantify the food safety risk represented by pasture-raised broilers processed on-farm, in a Mobile Processing Unit (MPU), and a small USDA-Inspected slaughter facility (U-IF) in addition to providing an assessment of the environmental impact of small-scale poultry production practices on the farm. Salmonella and Campylobacter levels in carcass rinses, soil, mortality compost, and processing wastewater were determined. Salmonella prevalence and concentration on carcasses processed on-farm and at the U-IF were not significantly different. Salmonella was not detected in carcasses processed by the MPU. Concentrations of Campylobacter were significantly highest on carcasses processed in the MPU and lowest on carcasses processed at the U-IF. Processing wastewater disposal practices and on-farm mortality composting may represent a hazard for dissemination of Salmonella and Campylobacter into the farm environment. Carcasses processed in the MPU had the highest risk for Campylobacter contamination and the lowest for Salmonella.