Submitted to: American Society for Microbiology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2006
Publication Date: June 25, 2006
Citation: Simmons, M.R., Hiett, K.L., Kuntz, R.L., Seal, B.S., Stern, N.J., Frank, J.F. 2006. Comparison of Chicken Weep and Carcass Rinse Sampling Methods for the Recovery of Campylobacter spp. Subtypes: Does the Technique Really Matter?. American Society for Microbiology. p. P042. Technical Abstract: Campylobacter spp. are considered the leading bacterial etiologic agent of human food-borne illness in industrialized countries. Handling and consumption of poultry or poultry related products are considered to be a primary source for Campylobacter induced disease in humans. A common method used for the detection of Campylobacter spp. on processed poultry products is a carcass rinse procedure. Alternatively, carcass exudate (weep or drip), a viscous fluid comprised of blood and water that leaks into packaging, may also be sampled. However, it is not known if there is preferential selection for the recovery of Campylobacter subtypes between the two methods. In an effort to determine if there are differences in the recovery of subtypes, three chicken flocks were sampled during production and immediately after processing (carcass rinse). Additionally, whole birds were placed at 4C where weep fluid was sampled at day 2 and at day 6. Recovered Campylobacter spp. isolates were subtyped using flaA SVR (short variable region) typing and compared for relatedness. Initial data suggested that there was no significant difference in the recovery rates of Campylobacter spp. between the two sampling methodologies. The data also demonstrated that multiple subtypes were present in a flock, and subtypes present in a flock during production were all present on the final processed product. Interestingly, subtype analyses of Campylobacter spp. isolates recovered from one flock revealed the presence of four additional subtypes from the processing associated samples (pre-chill, carcass rinse, and weep) that were not recovered during production. The most likely explanation is that cross contamination of this flock occurred during transport of the birds from the production environment to the processing facility, or by cross contamination during processing of the birds. Subtype analyses of isolates recovered from the remaining two flocks is ongoing.