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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Automated on-Line Fecal Detection System

Authors
item Smith, Douglas
item Windham, William
item Lawrence, Kurt
item Park, Bosoon

Research conducted cooperatively with:
item Stork Gamco, Inc.

Submitted to: Georgia Poultry Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2003
Publication Date: September 24, 2003
Citation: Smith, D.P., Windham, W.R., Lawrence, K.C., Park, B. 2003. Automated on-line fecal detection system. Georgia Poultry Conference Proceedings. p.4-7.

Interpretive Summary: The Pathogen Reduction / Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point rule (1997), and the subsequent FSIS Directive 6150.1 (1998) established new requirements for the poultry industry including, among many others, Salmonella standards, E. coli standards, and zero tolerance for fecally contaminated carcasses entering the chiller. The manual organoleptic process FSIS uses to inspect carcasses has not changed very much, however, and even the zero tolerance inspection is only required for 10 birds twice per shift per line. A multispectral imaging system has been developed to inspect all carcasses for fecal contamination prior to chilling. The system has been tested to determine: the effect of type of feces (from ingesta, ceca, duodenom, and colon); effects of scalding on skin and cuticle; and, the effect of feed type consumed by the bird (corn, wheat, or milo). All tests were successful as all fecal types and all feed types were detectable, and different scalding methods do not affect detection. The minimum detectable size or amount of feces on the carcass was tested and determined to be one to two mg. Also tests on detecting feces on the internal portion of the carcass (on split birds) were conducted and contaminants were detected. The imaging system is currently capable of operating at 180 birds per minute (exceeding current US line speeds) and detecting over 98% of fecal contaminants present.

Technical Abstract: The Pathogen Reduction / Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point rule (1997) and FSIS Directive 6150.1 (1998) require performance standards for Salmonella and E. coli for postchill broiler carcasses and zero tolerance for feces on carcasses entering the chiller. FSIS requires that a minimum of 10 birds per line, twice per shift, be inspected for prechill contamination. Most plants exceed this requirement, but none approach inspecting even 0.5% of all birds processed per day. A multispectral imaging system was developed to inspect all prechill carcasses for fecal contamination. Several experiments have been conducted to evaluate the system. The effect of type of feces (from ingesta, ceca, duodenom, and colon), the effect of scalding methods on skin and cuticle, and the effect of feed type consumed by the bird (corn, wheat, or milo) were determined. Tests showed that all fecal types and all feed types were detectable, and different scalding methods had no effect on detection. The lower detection limit for size of fecal contaminant was one to two mg, which was not even detectable microbiologically. Also, preliminary tests show that fecal detection is possible on the internal portion of the carcass (on split birds) and that fecal stains are also detectable. The imaging system typically detects over 98% of fecal contaminants at an operating line speed of 180 birds per minute (exceeding current US line speeds).

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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