Submitted to: Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 30, 2009
Publication Date: July 20, 2009
Citation: Liljebjelke, K.A., Ingram, K.D., Hinton Jr, A., Cason Jr, J.A. 2009. Scald tank water and foam as sources of salmonella contamination for poutlry carcasses during early processing [abstract]. Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract. Technical Abstract: Salmonella remains one of the leading causes of bacterial foodborne illness in the United States, and is often associated with poultry consumption. Despite significant reductions in the percentage of Salmonella-contaminated carcasses since the implementation of HAACP, continued reductions in Salmonella prevalence depend on identifying sources of contamination during poultry processing in order to develop and refine control programs. Salmonella was isolated from scald and dip tank water, surface foam, and defeathered carcasses obtained from a commercial poultry processing plant during the second processing shift over nine weeks. A variety of serotypes were isolated from whole carcass rinses, water, and foam samples, including several serotypes that are known human foodborne pathogens, including; Typhimurium, Enteritidis, Heidelberg, Schwartzengrund, Infantis, and Thompson. Salmonella was isolated from between 70-100% of twelve carcasses sampled at each collection. Both the variety and numbers of serotypes differed from one sampling to another, reflecting the differences in serotypes present in poultry flocks on farms. Multiple serotypes were isolated from individual carcasses, and were isolated against a background of serotype Kentucky, a serotype not in the top 20 causes of human salmonellosis. Despite high temperatures in the scald tanks (50–530C), and dip tank (630C), Salmonella do survive in the water and in surface foam. The thick organic foam layer that builds up on the scald tanks during processing may serve as a source of contamination when carcasses pass through the foam on exit from the scald and dip tanks, as Salmonella isolates were obtained from foam samples (40%) more frequently than from water samples (13%). These data will provide valuable information on the prevalence and variety of Salmonella serotypes present within integrated broiler production, in addition to identifying an important source of carcass contamination in early broiler processing.