Broiler Carcass Cleansing Solution Removes Harmful
June 10, 2010
Using a cleansing solution to wash
eviscerated chicken carcasses was effective in removing bacteria that cause
human foodborne diseases, according to a study by
Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
The findings provide data that may be useful to poultry producers in
designing practical, non-chlorine-based sanitizers. The cleanser, which is
composed of lauric acid and potassium hydroxide, could be used to sanitize
chicken carcasses during processing prior to chilling. Since other countries do
not use chlorine rinses, ARS is looking at alternatives for them and is
evaluating the most effective rinses against foodborne pathogens in poultry.
The studies were done by ARS microbiologist
Hinton, Jr., and physiologists
Jeff Buhr at the
B. Russell Research Center in Athens, Ga. They conducted a series of
studies to determine the best way to use mixtures of lauric acid and potassium
hydroxide to sanitize poultry carcasses.
In the first set of studies, carcasses were spray-washed with different
concentrations of the lauric acid-potassium hydroxide combination. Results
showed that increasing the concentration of lauric acid to 2 percent and
potassium hydroxide to 1 percent of the solution generally removed more
bacteria from the broiler carcass. That means that the concentration of the
cleanser is an important consideration when utilizing it as a sanitizer.
In another series of studies, Hinton and his colleagues used varying spray
pressures (60, 100 and 150 pounds per square inch) and found that pressure did
not have a significant effect on reducing bacterial contamination.
Later, however, the researchers examined the effect of time on the ability
of the spray-washing to reduce bacterial contamination of carcasses. Hinton
found that increasing the amount of time the carcasses were sprayed from 5 to
15 or 30 seconds resulted in significantly reduced bacterial contamination.
The research was published in the International Journal of
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's (USDA) principal intramural scientific research agency. This
research supports the USDA priority of ensuring food safety.