Submitted to: Poultry Science Association
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 21, 2002
Publication Date: August 11, 2002
Citation: Northcutt, J.K., Berrang, M.E., Smith, D.P., Jones, D.R. 2002. Effect of commercial bird washers on broiler carcass microbiological characteristics and waste water quality. [abstract] Poultry Science Association.81:(suppl.1):49.
The USDA mandated "Pathogen Reduction, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System" regulation has resulted in an increase in water usage during processing of poultry. Industry surveys suggest that nationwide this increase in water usage is at least 5.7 liters (1.5 gallons) per bird during slaughter. The inside-outside bird washer (IOBW) is one of the processing steps where additional water is being used to meet the zero tolerance carcass fecal contamination requirement in the regulation. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of commercial bird washers on broiler carcass microbiological characteristics and waste water quality. During each of three replications, ten carcasses were removed from a commercial processing line immediately before entering the IOBW. Simultaneously, ten carcasses were removed from the same processing line immediately after exiting the IOBW. Carcasses were individually sealed in sterile plastic bags, put into coolers with ice, and transported to the research facility. One hundred mL of sterile water was added to each bag containing a carcass, and the bags were shaken for 60 s. Rinses were analyzed for total aerobic bacteria, coliform and E. coli counts. Water samples from the IOBW before and after carcass washing were collected simultaneously with the carcasses. Coliform (log 2.6) and E. coli counts (log 2.2) of carcasses before the IOBW were not significantly different from coliform (log 2.4)and E. coli (log 2.1) counts after IOBW. Total aerobic bacteria decreased by 0.4 log (log 3.8 to 3.4). Chlorine concentration of water being sprayed on to carcasses ranged from 0.4 to 33 ppm and had pH values of 6.8 to 8.8. Water exiting the IOBW had 0 to 2.7 ppm chlorine and pH 6.7 to 8.0. Water-soluble protein was not found in the water exiting the IOBW.