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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Broiler Carcass Bacterial Counts after Immersion Chilling Using Either a Low Or High Volume of Water

item Northcutt, Julie
item Cason Jr, John
item Smith, Douglas
item Buhr, Richard
item Fletcher, Daniel - UGA

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 13, 2006
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: A study was conducted to investigate the microbiological impact of using different volumes of water during immersion chilling of broiler carcasses. Market-aged broilers were processed and carcasses were cut into left and right halves immediately after the final bird wash. One half of each pair was individually chilled (chill water) in a separate bag containing either 2.1 L/kg (low) or 16.8 L/kg (high) of distilled water (4°C). Carcass halves were submersed in a secondary chill tank containing approximately an ice-water mix (0.6°C) for 45 min. Bacterial counts on the carcass halves and in the chiller water were determined. Immersion chilling reduced the levels of bacteria recovered from carcasses. When a low volume of water was used during chilling, bacteria counts recovered from carcasses were higher than when a high volume of water was used for chilling, even when data were corrected for the dilution difference. When the counts in the chiller water were compared, levels of bacteria were lower in the high volume chiller water as compared to the low volume chiller water. The present study shows that using more water during immersion chilling of broilers will remove more bacteria from the carcass surfaces, but the microbiological impact may not be enough to offset the economics and environmental concerns.

Technical Abstract:

Last Modified: 4/18/2015
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