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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Effect of Hot Water Treatments after Defeathering on the Microbiological Contamination of Broiler Carcasses

Authors
item Berrang, Mark
item Dickens, James
item Musgrove, Michael

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2000
Publication Date: July 1, 2000
Citation: BERRANG, M.E., DICKENS, J.A., MUSGROVE, M.T. THE EFFECT OF HOT WATER TREATMENTS AFTER DEFEATHERING ON THE MICROBIOLOGICAL CONTAMINATION OF BROILER CARCASSES. JOURNAL OF POULTRY SCIENCE. 2000.

Technical Abstract: Populations of Campylobacter found on broiler carcasses in the processing plant tend to decrease when the carcasses are scalded, but rebound after defeathering. A study was undertaken to examine the effect of a post-pick scald to see if microbial loads could be lowered to pre- pick levels. Four treatments were evaluated, 1) immersion at 60 C for 28 s 30 min after defeathering, 2)immersion at 60 C for 28 s immediately after defeathering, 3) spray at 73 C for 20 s 30 min after defeathering, and 4)spray at 71 C for 20 s immediately after defeathering. Three replications were performed for each treatment, 8 carcasses per treatment and 8 controls for both feathered and defeathered carcasses were sampled by whole carcass rinse. With both delayed treatments, an increase in Campylobacter counts from log10 1.5 - 2.0 cfu/ml rinse before picking to log10 3.9 - 4.0 after picking was noted. However, neither the immersion nor spray second scald treatments lowered the Campylobacter counts from the post pick levels. Likewise, neither treatment had any affect on E. coli or coliform counts even though total counts were slightly reduced by the treatments. When the second scald treatment immediately followed defeathering the same trends were observed. Campylobacter counts were log10 1.6 - 2.2 cfu/ml rinse prior to picking and increased to log10 2.9 - 3.3 after picking. Campylobacter counts after the second scald remained at the post-pick levels as did counts for E. coli and coliforms, but total plate counts were slightly reduced. Overall, it would appear that a post-scald treatment, gentle enough to not alter the carcass appearance or meat quality, would not effectively lower Campylobacter, E. coli, or coliform counts.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014