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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MICROBIAL ECOLOGY OF HUMAN PATHOGENS RELATIVE TO POULTRY PROCESSING

Location: Bacterial Epidemiology and Antimicrobial Resistance

Title: Presence and numbers of Campylobacter, Escherichia coli and Salmonella determined in boiler carcass rinses from United States processing plants in the hazard analysis and critical control point-based inspection models project

Authors
item BERRANG, MARK
item Bailey, Joseph
item Altekruse, S - USDA-FSIS
item Shaw, JR., W - USDA-FSIS

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 12, 2008
Publication Date: September 1, 2008
Citation: Berrang, M.E., Bailey, J.S., Altekruse, S.F., Shaw, Jr., W.K. 2008. Presence and numbers of Campylobacter, Escherichia coli and Salmonella determined in boiler carcass rinses from United States processing plants in the hazard analysis and critical control point-based inspection models project. Journal of Applied Poultry Research. 17(3):354-360.

Interpretive Summary: USDA-Food Safety Inspection Service is responsible for inspection of all poultry slaughtered in the U.S. In a traditionally inspected plant, an inspector examines each carcass to identify and remove defects. The HACCP based inspection models project (HIMP) was started in 1999 in volunteer plants to assess the efficacy of a new type of inspection program. In HIMP plants, some of the carcass inspection responsibility is handled by plant personnel allowing regulatory inspectors more freedom to oversee the entire process more effectively. Volunteer plants have had a positive response to HIMP but it is unclear if the new inspection system has had an affect on the microbiological quality of broiler carcasses. This study was undertaken to compare bacterial numbers in broiler carcass rinses from HIMP and non-HIMP plants and to confirm that HIMP inspection does not interfere with a processing plant’s ability to lessen bacterial contamination of carcasses through processing technology. Broiler carcass rinses were collected from two sites in 16 non-HIMP and 4 HIMP plant in 2004. The same 4 HIMP plants were part of a second survey conducted in 2006 in which carcasses from all 20 plants currently enrolled in the HIMP program were examined. In 2004, carcasses collected from HIMP plants were found to have equal (or lower) numbers of bacteria as those from non-HIMP plants. The 2006 study showed that broiler processing in HIMP plants is effective to lower bacterial contamination on carcasses. HIMP inspection does not have a detrimental effect on the microbiological quality of processed broiler carcasses. This information will be useful to processors and regulators as they work together to find the best inspection systems for continued protection of poultry meat consumers.

Technical Abstract: In 1999, the USDA-Food Safety Inspection Service introduced an inspection system called The HACCP-Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP). HIMP varies from traditional inspection in that more emphasis is placed on system inspection and verification. Each carcass is still visually inspected but some of the responsibility for identification and removal of defects is shifted from the regulatory agency to the processor, freeing up inspectors to more effectively oversee the entire process. This survey was conducted in two stages: first to examine carcasses collected in HIMP and non-HIMP plants and then to test carcasses from all 20 volunteer plants currently operating under HIMP inspection. Carcasses were collected at re-hang and post chill being careful to follow the same flock through processing. Carcasses from HIMP plants were found to have equal or less presence and/or numbers of Campylobacter, E. coli and Salmonella than carcasses from non-HIMP plants. Overall, HIMP inspection does not seem to interfere with a processing plant’s efforts to lessen bacterial contamination through process operations.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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