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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

Location:

Title: Influence 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: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 10, 2008
Publication Date: January 26, 2009
Citation: Hinton Jr, A., Holser, R.A. 2009. Influence of water hardness on the ability of water to rinse bacteria from the skin of processed broilers [abstract]. Southern Poultry Science Meeting Abstract. p. 18.

Interpretive Summary: There is no summary needed for abstracts.

Technical Abstract: Experiments were conducted to examine the effect of water hardness on the ability of water to rinse bacteria from the skin of processed broiler chickens. Very hard water (200 ppm total hardness) was prepared by dissolving 0.38 g calcium chloride (CaCl2) and 0.175 g magnesium chloride hexahydrate (MgCl2 •6H2O) per liter of distilled water. Moderately hard water (100 ppm total hardness) was prepared by diluting 1 part very hard with 1 part distilled water, and distilled water was used as a soft water rinse. Skin samples were taken from breasts of broiler carcasses obtained from a local processing facility, cut into 1 g pieces, and stored at 4oC. Five consecutive 1 min rinses of skin samples were performed in 20 ml, fresh aliquots of distilled, moderately hard, or very hard water. Rinsed skin samples were stomached in a solution of 0.01 M potassium phosphate buffer with 0.025% ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) to recover bacteria remaining on the skin. Rinsates from stomached skin were decanted, and bacteria in the rinsates were enumerated on Plate Count (PC), Levine Eosine Methylene Blue (EMB), Campylobacter (CA), Pseudomonas (PS), and Staphylococci (ST) Agars. Results indicated that significantly (P < 0.05) fewer bacteria were recovered on CA and PS Agars from skin rinsed in distilled water than from skin rinsed in moderately or very hard water, and significantly fewer bacteria were recovered on EMB Agar from skin rinsed in distilled water than from skin rinsed in very hard water. There was no significant difference in the number of bacteria recovered on ST or PC agar from skin washed in distilled, moderately hard, or very hard water. Findings from these experiments indicate that water hardness can play a role in the ability of water to rinse away intestinal bacteria, such as campylobacters and Enterobacteriaceae, and spoilage bacteria, such as pseudomonads, from the skin of processed broiler chickens. Poultry processors may be able to reduce the number of these bacteria on processed poultry by monitoring and controlling the hardness of water used in processing operations.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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