Submitted to: US Open Journal of Agriculture and Food Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 6, 2014
Publication Date: April 10, 2014
Citation: Holser, R.A. 2014. Microbial contamination in poultry chillers estimated by Monte Carlo simulations. US Open Journal of Agriculture and Food Technology. 1(1):1-5. Interpretive Summary: Water used to prepare poultry products for consumers can become contaminated with bacteria. The direct contact between poultry and wash water or cooling water is necessary but presents the risk of bacterial contamination. The process water can be treated with approved antimicrobial agents to reduce the number of bacteria on the poultry products and the risk to the consumer. However, the effectiveness of the treatment depends on the operating characteristics of the process. The risk of contamination can be predicted from knowledge of the process, exposure time, and several other factors. Analysis of the risk of bacterial contamination was performed for two common processes and one modified process. These results will be of interest to poultry producers and processors.
Technical Abstract: The risk of microbial contamination during poultry processing may be reduced by the operating characteristics of the chiller. The performance of air chillers and immersion chillers were compared in terms of pre-chill and post-chill contamination using Monte Carlo simulations. Three parameters were used to model the cross-contamination that occurs during chiller operation. Results were calculated for 30%, 50%, and 80% levels of contamination in pre-chill carcasses. Air chilling showed increased risk of contamination in post-chill carcasses. Immersion chilling with 50 mg/L chlorine or 5% trisodium phosphate added to the chiller water as antimicrobial treatments reduced contamination to negligible levels in post-chill carcasses. Simulations of combination air/immersion chiller systems showed reductions of microbial contamination but not to the extent of immersion chillers attributed to the reduced exposure time to antimicrobial treatments.