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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Recovery of Bacteria from Breast Skin of Feathered and Scaleless "featherless" Carcasses Following Scalding and Picking

item Buhr, Richard
item Berrang, Mark
item Cason Jr, John

Submitted to: Southern Poultry Science Society Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 27, 2001
Publication Date: August 11, 2002
Citation: Buhr, R.J., Berrang, M.E., Cason Jr, J.A. 2002. Recovery of bacteria from breast skin of feathered and scaleless "featherless" carcasses following scalding and picking. [abstract] Southern Poultry Science Society Meeting.

Technical Abstract: Feathered and Scaleless "featherless" siblings of matched body weight were processed to determine the impact of feathers and empty feather follicles on the recovery of bacteria from carcass breast skin. One wk prior to processing, birds were orally challenged with high doses of Campylobacter jejuni. Twelve h before processing, full fed birds were placed into solid-bottom coops to maximize fecal contamination, and then transported to the pilot processing plant. The vents were plugged and sutured closed prior to scalding (134F / 55.6C for 90 s) to minimize the expression of cloacal content during picking. Birds were processed in alternating batches of four feathered and four Scaleless and the picker cleaned between each batch with hot water. The entire breast skin was aseptically removed with sterile scalpel and forceps. Campylobacter was recovered from 1 of 16 Scaleless and from 4 of 16 feathered carcasses at levels of log10 1.5 and 1.4 CFU/mL of rinse, respectively. Recovery of E. coli (1.5 and 1.6 CFU), coliforms (1.8 CFU), and total aerobic bacteria (3.0 and 3.1 CFU) did not differ between feathered and Scaleless carcasses, respectively. The presence or absence of feathers and empty feather follicles did not impact the level of bacteria (Campylobacter, E. coli, coliforms, and total aerobic) recovered from breast skin following scalding and defeathering.

Last Modified: 4/18/2015