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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: Microbiology of Broiler Carcasses and Chemistry of Chiller Water as Affected by Water Reuse

Authors
item Northcutt, Julie
item Huezo, R - UGA
item Ingram, Kimberly
item Smith, Douglas

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 17, 2008
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
Citation: Northcutt, J.K., Huezo, R.I., Ingram, K.D., Smith, D.P. 2008. Microbiology of Broiler Carcasses and Chemistry of Chiller Water as Affected by Water Reuse. Poultry Science. 87:1458-1463.

Interpretive Summary: A study was conducted to determine the effects of treating and reusing poultry chiller water in a commercial poultry processing facility. Broiler carcasses and chiller water were obtained from a commercial processing facility which had recently installed a system to recycle water in the middle section of a 3 compartment chiller. Carcasses were sampled before and after chilling, while chiller water was sampled from the beginning and end of each of the 3 chiller compartments. On average, levels of bacteria recovered from carcass rinses were after chilling were 1.5 to 2.0 log units lower than the levels recovered before chilling. Ten out of 40 (25%) carcasses were positive for Salmonella before chilling, while 9 out of 40 (22%) carcasses were positive for Salmonella after chilling. When the chiller water samples were tested, bacteria populations were found only in water collected from the first compartment of the chiller. Two out of 4 (50%) water samples collected from the entrance of the first compartment tested positive for Salmonella. No bacteria were detected in chiller water collected from the second and third compartments of the chiller. The present study shows that poultry processing chiller water can be reused to cool poultry and still achieve reductions in numbers of bacteria.

Technical Abstract: A study was conducted to determine the effects of treating and reusing poultry chiller water in a commercial poultry processing facility. Broiler carcasses and chiller water were obtained from a commercial processing facility which had recently installed a TOMCO Pathogen Management SystemJ to recycle water in the middle section of a 3 compartment chiller. Carcasses were sampled prechill and post-chill (final exit) during the first and second shifts, while chiller water was sampled from the beginning and end of each of the 3 chiller compartments. Carcasses were subjected to a whole carcass rinse (WCR) in 0.1% peptone. Numbers of Escherichia coli (EC), coliforms (CF) and Campylobacter (CP) were determined from the WCR and chiller water samples. Prevalence of Salmonella (SAL) was also determined on the WCR and chiller water samples. On average, prechill levels of bacteria recovered from rinses were 2.6, 2.9 and 2.6 log10 cfu/mL for EC, CF and CP, respectively. Ten out of 40 (25%) prechill carcasses were positive for SAL. After chilling, numbers of EC, CF and CP recovered from carcass rinses decreased by 1.5, 1.5, and 2.0 log10 cfu/mL, respectively. However, 9 out of 40 (22%) post-chill carcasses were positive for SAL. When the chiller water samples were tested, counts of EC, CF and CP were found only in water collected from the first compartment of the chiller. Two out of 4 (50%) water samples collected from the entrance of the first compartment tested positive for SAL. The present study shows that poultry processing chiller water can be reused to cool poultry and still achieve reductions in numbers of bacteria (EC, CF and CP) or no increase in prevalence (SAL) of bacteria recovered from broiler carcasses.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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