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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PATHOGEN REDUCTION AND OPTIMIZATION OF WATER USAGE IN POULTRY PROCESSING OPERATIONS

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Title: Effect of water hardness on the ability of water to rinse bacteria from the skin of processed broilers

Authors
item Hinton, Jr, Arthur
item Holser, Ronald

Submitted to: Feedinfo News Service
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 16, 2009
Publication Date: February 16, 2009
Citation: Hinton Jr, A., Holser, R.A. 2009. Effect of water hardness on the ability of water to rinse bacteria from the skin of processed broilers. Feedinfo News Service.

Technical Abstract: The effect of water hardness on the ability of water to rinse bacteria from the skin of processed broiler chickens was examined. Artificial hard water with a total hardness of 200 ppm (very hard water) was prepared by dissolving calcium chloride (CaCl2) and magnesium chloride hexahydrate (MgCl2 •6H2O) in distilled water, and water with a total hardness of 100 ppm (moderately hard water) was prepared by diluting 1 part very hard with 1 part distilled (soft) water. Five consecutive rinses of skin in fresh aliquots of soft, moderately hard, or very hard water were performed, and then samples were stomached in a solution of 0.01M potassium phosphate buffer with 0.025% ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) to recover bacteria remaining on the skin. Bacteria in stomached rinsates were enumerated on Plate Count (PC), Levine Eosine Methylene Blue (EMB), Campylobacter (CA), Pseudomonas (PS), and Staphylococci (ST) Agars. Results indicated that fewer bacteria were recovered on all media from skin rinsed in soft water than from skin rinsed in moderately or very hard water. Findings from these experiments indicate that reducing water hardness can increase the ability of water rinses to remove bacteria from poultry skin. Therefore, poultry processors may be able to reduce bacterial contamination of processed poultry by monitoring and controlling the hardness of processing water.

Last Modified: 12/27/2014