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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fayetteville, Arkansas » Poultry Production and Product Safety Research » Research » Research Project #433710

Research Project: One-two Punch for Organic Poultry Processing: Knocking Out Foodborne Pathogens with Plant Antimicrobials

Location: Poultry Production and Product Safety Research

Project Number: 6022-31230-001-03-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2017
End Date: May 31, 2021

Objective:
The long-term goal of this proposal integrating research, extension and education is to provide organic poultry producers with natural, effective, and safe strategies for improving the post-harvest microbiological safety and shelf life of organic poultry products. The specific objectives of the proposed research are to: Reduce Salmonella counts on eggs using natural, food-grade plant compounds (eugenol, carvacrol, and B-resorcylic acid) applied as a post-harvest antimicrobial wash, spray, fumigation or coating treatment; Reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter counts on poultry carcasses using plant derived, food-grade compounds (eugenol, carvacrol, B-resorcylic acid) at critical control points in the processing line (scalding and chill tank) or applied as a coating treatment; Determine the quality, shelf life and consumer acceptability of poultry carcasses and eggs subjected to the aforementioned interventions; and conduct a Benefit-Cost assessment of organic egg/carcass disinfection process and operation. The outreach/extension objectives of this proposal are to: Provide food safety and processing workshops for organic poultry producers; Disseminate research results from this project to the organic poultry community, through conferences, electronic and printed materials, and training activities in a research and teaching oriented organic poultry facility; Conduct outreach to organic poultry producers, avian health professionals, extension specialists and other stakeholder regarding the objectives and results of this project; and Measure the impact of extension and education efforts.

Approach:
We work with many organic poultry farmers across the U.S. and the highest priority for many of these producers is research and education associated with processing and post-harvest food safety. Preliminary results from our team indicate that several natural, FDA-approved, food-grade, plant-derived antimicrobials are effective in reducing these pathogens on poultry and eggs, highlighting their potential to improve safety of organic poultry products. This proposal aims to reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter on poultry meat and eggs using plant-derived antimicrobials applied as wash, spray, fumigation or coating treatment at critical post-harvest control points. Shelf-life and consumer acceptability of organic poultry products subjected to these interventions will be determined. For the outreach/extension objectives we will provide food safety and processing workshops for organic poultry producers; disseminate research results of the project to the organic poultry community, through conferences, electronic and printed materials, and training activities in a research and teaching oriented organic poultry facility; conduct outreach to organic poultry producers, avian health professionals, extension specialists and other stakeholder regarding the objectives and results of this project. Additionally, tools such as eXtension, eOrganic, webinar, and Google Analytics will be utilized to disseminate project results to organic poultry producers.