Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 23, 2005
Publication Date: July 31, 2005
Citation: Cason Jr, J.A., Buhr, R.J., Hinton Jr, A. 2005. Release of E. coli from feathered and featherless broiler carcasses immersed in warm water [abstract]. Poultry Science Annual Meeting. 84(suppl.1):19.
Release of bacteria from individual broiler carcasses in warm water was measured as a model of bacterial contamination of scald water. Immediately after shackling and electrocution, feathered and genetically featherless broiler carcasses (n= 24 of each) were immersed individually in 42° C, air-agitated tap water for 150 seconds. Although any fecal material expelled during electrocution was removed, carcass condition was typical for market age broilers subjected to 12 hours of feed withdrawal. Duplicate water samples were taken at 10, 30, 70, 110, and 150 seconds and E. coli counts were determined. Samples of initial tap water and contaminated water approximately 2 minutes after removal of carcasses indicated that E. coli could not be detected in the original water source and that mortality of E. coli was negligible. Mean numbers of E. coli released were 5.3 and 4.7 log10 (cfu/carcass) at 10 seconds and 6.2 and 5.5 log10 (cfu/carcass) at 150 seconds for feathered and featherless carcasses, respectively. For both feathered and featherless carcasses, the rate of release of E. coli was highest in the first 10 seconds and the rate declined steadily during the remaining sampling period. This result is compatible with published reports of sampling of operating multiple-tank scalders indicating that a high proportion of total bacteria are in the first scald tank. Higher numbers of E. coli released from feathered carcasses were probably due to the much greater surface area of contaminated feathers compared to the skin of featherless carcasses.