Submitted to: Campylobacter Helicobacter and Related Organisms International Workshop
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/30/2005
Publication Date: 9/6/2005
Citation: Stern, N.J., Pretanik, S. 2005. Levels and frequencies of campylobacter spp on united states broiler carcasses. Campylobacter Helicobacter and Related Organisms International Workshop. I-37. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Food borne Campylobacter spp. gastroenteritis remains a public health concern and, CDC suggests that improperly handled poultry is the most important source for human disease. Campylobacter spp. does not multiply outside of the chicken gut and, thus, levels on the processed carcass represent human exposure. In response, ten of the largest United States poultry integrated companies cooperatively determined the frequencies and levels of Campylobacter contamination on processed broiler carcasses. Prior to conducting the survey, laboratory personnel were trained in a direct Campy-Cefex plating procedure for enumerating the organism. Before and after the quantitative survey, estimation consistency among the participating laboratories was compared. Participating laboratories were able to consistently estimate inoculated levels of Campylobacter from carcass rinses. Within the central study, we determined the United States’ consumer exposure to Campylobacter spp. associated with broiler carcasses over a 13 month period. Among each of the 13 participating poultry complexes, rinses from 25 randomly selected, fully processed carcasses were sampled monthly from individual flocks. Among 4,200 samples, approximately 74% of the carcasses had no detectable levels of Campylobacter spp. Approximately 3.6% of all commercially processed broiler carcasses yielded more than 105 cells of Campylobacter spp. per carcass. Acceptable levels of the organism associated with raw poultry remain to be determined. Nevertheless, by way of this survey, the industry demonstrates recognition of its responsibility to assess and reduce public exposure to Campylobacter through broilers.