Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #149215


item Dickens, James
item Ingram, Kimberly - Kim
item Hinton, Jr, Arthur

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/27/2004
Publication Date: 6/1/2004
Citation: Dickens, J.A., Ingram, K.D., Hinton Jr, A. 2004. The effects of applying safe2otm-poultry wash (during final wash) on total aerobes, e. coli, campylobacter, salmonella, and listeria on broiler carcasses sampled after chilling. Poultry Science.

Interpretive Summary: Poultry processed in the U.S. are routinely passed through a spray bath which washes the outside and inside of the carcass prior to it entering a cold water bath. This washer removes contaminants that may have been left on the carcass during the multiple processing procedures up to that point. Contaminants such as fecal material or un-digested feed left on both the internal as well as outside surfaces of the carcasses have been shown to increase the possibility of enteric pathogens contaminating the carcasses. The washers remove the visible contaminants, but microorganisms associated with these contaminants, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and E. coli, and others associated with contamination from outside sources such as Listeria can be left on the carcass. A new chemical approved by both FDA and FSIS, an acidic calcium sulfate solution, was added to the washer water in an attempt to lower the number of microorganisms on the carcass after the cold water bath. All bacteria evaluated were significantly reduced by the addition of this new chemical when compared to the water only wash. Commercial acceptance of this product would result in a safer product reaching the consumer and the possibility of increasing export markets due to some countries refusal to import poultry treated with chemicals now being used.

Technical Abstract: Bacterial contamination of raw processed poultry continues to be of concern to consumers, as well as regulatory and health officials. For the past 40 yr scientists have been working on suitable and acceptable decontamination methods to reduce or eliminate spoilage organisms and human enteropathogens from raw processed meat and poultry products. Safe2OTM-Poultry Wash, a low pH solution comprised of acidic calcium sulfate and other components, was evaluated as a final wash before chilling for its ability to reduce total aerobic plate counts and enteric pathogens on chilled broiler carcasses. Fifty-four carcasses were picked up from a local processor prior to final wash. On arrival back at the research facility all carcasses were inoculated with one ml of a cocktail containing 3 Log10 CFU/ml of Naladixic acid-resistant Salmonella typhimurium and Listeria monocytogenes. After a 30 min attachment time, six plant run control carcasses (PRC) were immediately subjected to a whole carcass rinse (WCR). The remaining carcasses were subjected to a 4 sec in/out spray with either 1.5 L de-ionized water or Safe2OTM-Poultry Wash, hung for 3 min, and chilled for 45 min. After chill, a WCR was performed on all carcasses. Microbiological analyses were conducted on the rinsates for total aerobes, E. coli, Campylobacter, S. typhimurium, and L. monocytogenes. All bacterial counts Log10 CFU/ml were lowered by the water spray treatment and lowered further by the Safe2OTM- Poultry Wash spray treatment. Total aerobic plate counts and E. coli counts from PRC were 4.56 and 3.34, from water sprayed carcasses 4.04 and 2.02, and from Safe2OTM treated carcasses 3.39 and 1.60, respectively. Log10 Campylobacter counts were 2.18 for the PRC, 1.47 for the water spray treatment and 0.55 for the Safe2OTM-Poultry Wash. S. typhimurium were significantly reduced by the water spray treatment from 1.57 to 0.28, and no S. typhimurium were recovered from the carcasses treated with the Safe2OTM-Poultry Wash. Log10 L. monocytogenes counts were 2.56 for the PRC, 1.68 for the water spray, and 0.95 for the Safe2OTM-Poultry Wash. Acceptance and use of the Safe2OTM-Poultry Wash at the final in/out wash in commercial poultry processing plants could lead to a microbiologically safer product for consumers here and abroad.