Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/24/2001
Publication Date: 7/1/2002
Citation: Cason Jr, J.A., Buhr, R.J., Hinton Jr, A., Berrang, M.E., Cox, N.A. 2002. Application of lactic-acid-producing bacterial cultures to skin of live broilers. Poultry Science.
Technical Abstract: In four trials, lactic-acid-producing bacterial cultures were applied to the skin of live broilers 24 h before slaughter to determine whether inoculation of the cultures could affect the numbers of bacteria that are normally found on the skin of processed broiler carcasses. The cultures contained 10,000 to 100,000 cfu/mL and were sprayed in 250 mL of a pH 6.0 nutrient medium (including glucose, peptone, beef extract, yeast extract, a surfactant, and salts) to enhance the survival and growth of the cultures. With broilers suspended by the feet, feathers were moved aside to apply as much of the liquid as possible directly to the skin. Sprayed broilers were then returned to a pen. In each trial, 4 five-wk-old broilers were sprayed and 4 broilers were kept as untreated controls. The following day, broilers were processed in a research processing facility and defeathered carcasses were sampled by rinsing for 1 min in 100 mL of peptone water after removal of heads and feet. Coliforms, E. coli, lactic-acid bacteria, and Campylobacter were enumerated by standard methods. After removal of aliquots for plating, the remaining sample volume was enriched to detect salmonellae. No significant differences were found in log10(cfu/mL) of coliforms, E. coli, or lactic-acid bacteria between the treated and control carcasses. All carcasses were Campylobacter-negative. Salmonellae were present on some carcasses, but with no differences between treatments. Spraying lactic-acid-producing bacteria with nutrients on the skin of live broilers appears to have no effect on numbers of bacteria that are present on the skin after defeathering.