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item Cason Jr, John
item Berrang, Mark

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/26/2002
Publication Date: 3/1/2003
Citation: Simmons, M., Fletcher, D.L., Cason Jr, J.A., Berrang, M.E. 2003. Recovery of salmonella from retail broilers using a whole carcass enrichment procedure. Journal of Food Protection. 66(3):446-450.

Interpretive Summary: Over the last forty years, scientific surveys from around the world have reported highly variable incidences of Salmonella bacteria on retail poultry products. Only a few studies report less than 20 % Salmonella incidence, and most report levels above 30 %. The present study was conducted to determine how the incidence of Salmonella bacteria on whole broiler carcasses purchased from retail outlets would compare with those results. Salmonella was found on approximately 34 % of 251 whole carcasses purchased from grocery stores over a 20 week period. This incidence was based on using an intensive whole carcass rinse designed to detect low numbers of Salmonella cells per carcass. These results would indicate that further investigation should be conducted to determine the relative effects of sampling methodology and sampling location (retail outlets as opposed to slaughter plant testing) on the true incidence of Salmonella on retail poultry products..

Technical Abstract: Whole, fresh broiler carcasses were purchased from grocery stores over a 20-week period. Carcasses were selected based on having intact packages, and a unique USDA plant number and sell-by-date, such that each bird represented a single processing plant and processing day combination. Carcasses were tested for Salmonella using a rinse aliquot obtained after whole bird incubation in the rinse media for 24 h. Based on the number of unique processing plants and expiration dates, the number of birds available each week ranged from 6 to 17. Over the 20 week period, 251 independent carcasses from 14 processing plants were tested. Salmonella-positive carcasses ranged from 0 (for one week) to over 60% (for three weeks). Only four of the 20 weeks had an incidence of less than 20% positive carcasses. For the entire 20-week study, 85 of the 251 total carcasses tested, or 33.9 %, were found to be Salmonella-positive. For those processing plants from which more than 10 carcasses were obtained, Salmonella-positive carcasses ranged from less than 20 % (two plants) to over 40 % (four plants). These results indicate that a whole carcass enrichment may be more sensitive for detecting Salmonella-positive carcasses when low numbers of salmonellae per carcass are expected.