Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 15, 1999
Publication Date: March 1, 2000
Citation: BUHR, R.J., CASON JR, J.A., DICKENS, J.A., HINTON JR, A., INGRAM, K.D. INFLUENCE OF FLOORING TYPE DURING TRANSPORT AND HOLDING ON BACTERIA RECOVERY FROM BROILER CARCASS RINSES BEFORE AND AFTER DEFEATHERING. JOURNAL OF POULTRY SCIENCE. 2000. Interpretive Summary: Experiments were conducted to determine if the use of solid or wire mesh flooring during the transport and holding of broilers prior to slaughter would influence the number of bacteria recovered from feathered and defeathered carcasses. External carcass rinses were obtained twice, before and again after scalding and defeathering. There were greater numbers of aerobic bacteria and intestinal-bacteria (Campylobacter, coliforms, and Escherichia coli) recovered from feathered carcasses than from defeathered carcasses. The number of intestinal-bacteria recovered were also higher for broilers held on the solid flooring compared to those held on the wire flooring for feathered carcasses but not defeathered carcasses. Similarly, the percentage of Campylobacter- positive carcasses was reduced following defeathering, but the percentage of salmonellae-positive carcasses remained constant. These results indicate that although broilers transported and held on solid flooring had noticeably dirtier breast feathers and higher external intestinal-bacteria counts prior to scalding and defeathering, after defeathering there was no difference in the level of carcass bacteria recovered between the solid and wire flooring treatments. Therefore, the majority of intestinal-bacteria that contaminate the carcass during transport and holding on solid flooring prior to processing are removed during the scalding and defeathering process.
Technical Abstract: Trials were conducted to determine if solid or wire mesh flooring, during transport and holding of broilers prior to slaughter, influenced the number of bacteria recovered from feathered and defeathered carcasses. External carcass rinses were obtained twice, before scalding and defeathering and again after defeathering. Greater numbers of total aerobes, coliforms, and Escherichia coli were recovered from feathered carcasses than from defeathered carcasses. Campylobacter count was also less for defeathered than feathered carcasses from the solid flooring treatment, but did not significantly decrease following defeathering of carcasses from the wire flooring. The incidence of Campylobacter- positive carcasses was reduced following defeathering for both flooring treatments, but the percentage of salmonellae-positive carcasses remained constant. Coliform (log 6.20 vs. 5.63 cfu/mL of rinse) and E. coli (log 5.93 vs. 5.36) counts in the feathered rinses were higher for the solid flooring compared with wire flooring, respectively. After defeathering, the number of coliforms (log 3.12) and E. coli (log 2.91) recovered did not differ between flooring treatments. Aerobic plate count (log 7.06 and 4.02), Campylobacter count (log 2.49 and 1.80), the incidence of Campylobacter-positive (44 and 11%) and salmonellae- positive (52 and 50%) carcasses for both feathered and defeathered rinses, respectively, did not differ between flooring treatments.