Pre-chill antimicrobial treatment to enhance the safety of chicken parts
Steininger, Charlotte Glenn
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Increased numbers of pathogenic microorganisms on chicken parts when compared to whole broilers has led to the hypothesis that water retained during the pre-chill stage of processing harbors bacteria which contaminates parts upon cut-up. The effectiveness of antimicrobial treatments (chlorine, peracetic acid, chlorine stabilizer) was evaluated when applied pre-chill in ability to reduce E. coli/coliforms, aerobic bacteria, Campylobacter, and Salmonella prevalence on chicken parts. Samples were collected post evisceration, post pre-chill, post chill, and post cut-up. Due to difficulty in detection of Campylobacter spp. from carcass rinsates, a comparative analysis of selective media was conducted using Campylobacter enrichment broth (Bolton’s) with and without supplementation with triclosan, Campy-Cefex Agar (CCA), and Campylobacter R&F Chromogenic Agar (RFA). Treatments containing chlorine stabilizer resulted in a significant reduction (p<0.05) at all points throughout processing for aerobic bacteria, E. coli, and coliforms. A combination of T-Bolton broth and RFA provided the best Campylobacter spp. recovery.