Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #120593


item Berrang, Mark
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff
item Cason Jr, John

Submitted to: Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2001
Publication Date: 7/1/2001
Citation: Berrang, M.E., Buhr, R.J., Cason Jr, J.A. 2001. Microbiological consequences of skin removal prior to evisceration of broiler carcasses. [abstract] Poultry Science Association Meeting.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The objective of this project was to determine if removal of skin prior to evisceration lowers the number of bacteria that can be recovered by whole carcass rinse or outer surface sponge sampling. Two sets of experiments were conducted, one with each type of sampling (rinse or sponge). On each of three replicate sample days, ten New York dressed carcasses were obtained from a commercial broiler processing plant, five were aseptically skinned and five were left with skin intact. On each carcass, the esophagus was tied and cut above the proventriculus allowing the crop to be removed toward the head to prevent contamination of the body cavity. The carcasses were then aseptically eviscerated by hand. Carcasses were either rinsed in 100 mL sterile water or sampled by moist sponge over the outer surface. Serial dilutions from the rinse or sponge were plated on Campy cefex agar, E. coli petrifilm plates and plate count agar. Data are reported as log10 cfu per sample. When sampled by rinse, 5.4 Campylobacter, 4.4 E. coli and 6.7 total aerobic bacteria were recovered from carcasses with intact skin. Significantly less Campylobacter (4.7) and total aerobic bacteria (5.8) were recovered from skin-off carcasses. No difference in E. coli counts was noted for whole carcasses rinsed without skin (3.9). When sampled by sponge, 4.5 Campylobacter, 3.7 E. coli and 5.6 total aerobic bacteria were recovered. Significantly less Campylobacter (2.0), E. coli (2.3) and total aerobic bacteria (3.3) were recovered from carcasses without skin. Although not commercially practical, it is possible to lower the level of bacteria including Campylobacter on the outside of broiler carcasses by removal of the skin prior to evisceration.