Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 5, 2002
Publication Date: July 6, 2003
Citation: Buhr, R.J., Hinton Jr, A., Ingram, K.D., Bourassa, D.V., Fletcher, D.L. 2003. Persistence of salmonella applied to breast skin between scalding and picking of feathered and featherless (scaleless)broiler carcasses. [abstract] Poultry Science. 82(suppl.1):108. Technical Abstract: 1USDA-ARS, Russell Research Center, Athens, Georgia, 2The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia Two processing trials were conducted to determine the relative persistence of Salmonella applied to breast skin of feathered and ¿featherless¿ (scaleless) broiler carcasses between the scalding and picking stages of processing. The first and third carcass in each batch of 4 carcasses were inoculated with 1 mL 107 Salmonella typhimurium suspended in the cecal contents, while the second and fourth carcasses were not inoculated. The Salmonella suspension was spread over the breast skin area after carcasses exited the scalder. The breast skin was aseptically removed from the carcass after picking and stomached in peptone water. Salmonella was enumerated in an aliquot of rinsate from each skin sample, and another portion of each rinsate was enriched for Salmonella to detect the presence of low levels of the human pathogen. Inoculated carcasses that were scalded but not picked were sampled at the beginning and end of processing to confirm the Salmonella level of the inoculum. The level recovered from these nonpicked carcasses was log10 5.9 cfu / g of breast skin for carcasses sampled at the beginning and log10 5.5 cfu / g for those sampled 2 h later. Enrichment procedures detected Salmonella in 44 of 50 samples (88 %) in which the number of Salmonella was too low to be detected through enumeration by direct plating. The prevalence of Salmonella recovery from the inoculated carcasses (first and third) was 81.2% (13/16 positive) for feathered and 62% (10/16) for featherless carcasses, and the difference approached significance (P = 0.0672). However, the prevalence of recovery from the subsequent non-inoculated carcasses (second and fourth), although significantly higher (P = 0.0150) at 88% (14/16), was identical for feathered and featherless carcasses. The presence of cecal contents containing Salmonella on breast skin prior to picking does not accurately predict the likelihood of Salmonella recovery after picking. Furthermore, the magnitude of crosscontamination (88%) that occurs during picking obscures determination of the true impact of the presence or absence of feathers and feather follicles in harboring Salmonella on breast skin of broilers.