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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Monitoring Transmission of Campylobacter During Commercial Poultry Processing

Author
item Hinton, Jr, Arthur

Submitted to: Feedinfo News
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 4, 2004
Publication Date: October 4, 2004
Citation: Hinton Jr, A. 2004. Monitoring transmission of campylobacter during commercial poultry processing. Feedinfo News Service Scientific Reviews. October 2004. Available: http://www.feedinfo.com.

Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter are the major cause of human foodborne diseases in the world. In this experiment, broiler carcasses and scald water taken from a commercial poultry processing facility was monitored for the presence of Campylobacter bacteria. Samples were collected from the processing facility on a monthly basis from January through June. Campylobacter were enumerated in water samples; on prescalded, picked, eviscerated, and chilled carcasses; and on processed carcasses stored at 4oC for 7 or 14 days. An automated identification system was used to identify the type of Campylobacter that was isolated from the samples. Findings indicated that no Campylobacter were recovered from carcasses or scald tank water samples collected in January or February, but the bacterium was recovered from samples collected in March, April, May, and June. Processing usually reduced the number of Campylobacter found on carcasses, and the number of Campylobacter on refrigerated carcasses generally decreased during storage. Different populations of the pathogen were carried into the processing plant by different broiler flocks and the same Campylobacter strain was recovered from different poultry processing operations. However, Campylobacter apparently is unable to colonize equipment in the processing facility and contaminate broilers from flocks processed at later dates in the facility.

Technical Abstract: The presence of Campylobacter on broiler carcasses and in scald water taken from a commercial poultry processing facility was monitored on a monthly basis from January through June. Campylobacter were enumerated in water samples from a multi-tank scalder; on prescalded, picked, eviscerated, and chilled carcasses; and on processed carcasses stored at 4oC for 7 or 14 days. The MIDI Sherlock Microbial Identification System (MIS) was used to determine the identity of Campylobacter-like isolates. Findings indicated that no Campylobacter were recovered from carcasses or scald tank water samples collected in January or February, but the pathogen was recovered from samples collected in March, April, May, and June. Processing generally produced a significant decrease in the number of Campylobacter recovered from broiler carcasses, and the number of Campylobacter recovered from refrigerated carcasses generally decreased during storage. Significantly fewer Campylobacter were recovered from the final tank of the multiple tank scald system than from the first tank. Dendrograms of the FAME profile of the isolates indicated that poultry flocks may introduce several strains of C. jejuni and C. coli into processing plants. Different populations of the pathogen may be carried into the processing plant by successive broiler flocks and the same Campylobacter strain may be recovered from different poultry processing operations. However, Campylobacter apparently is unable to colonize equipment in the processing facility and contaminate broilers from flocks processed at later dates in the same facility.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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