Submitted to: Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Campylobacter and Salmonella are leading causes of human foodborne illness. Effective intervention strategies require an understanding of the origin of these pathogens and cross contamination of carcasses during processing. Effective programs must involve multiple intervention strategies at critical control points from the farm-to-table for control of these pathogens. Contamination of the broiler carcass, when present, irrefutably begins on farms, with potential cross-contamination of non- contaminated carcasses at some points during processing. Mandatory pre- harvest feed withdrawal has been shown to markedly and significantly increase the incidence of Campylobacter and Salmonella in the crops of market age broilers. A 2- to 3-fold increase in Campylobacter incidence has been observed after 5 hours or greater of feed withdrawal. This increase is most likely due to ingestion of contaminated litter and feces. Increased carcass contamination has been observed during the transport and holding of live poultry prior to entering the processing plant, and may continue during processing. Although carcasses exiting the scald tank typically have reduced numbers of Campylobacter and Salmonella, contamination of broiler carcasses has been shown to increase during feather and viscera (including crop) removal. The identification of critical control points will allow the selection of intervention strategies to help reduce the number of pathogenic carcasses contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. Thus, a total integrated farm-to-table strategy must begin before the animals are placed on the farm (breeders and hatcheries) and continue through handling and preparation by the consumer.