Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2005
Publication Date: 7/15/2006
Citation: Berrang, M.E., Smith, D.P., Hinton Jr, A. 2006. Organic acids placed in the cloaca to reduce campylobacter contamination of broiler skin during defeathering [abstract]. Poultry Science. 85(Suppl1):172.
Technical Abstract: Campylobacter numbers on broiler carcasses can increase dramatically during defeathering due to leakage of contaminated intestinal contents in the feather picking machine. Food grade organic acids have been shown to be effective in killing bacteria. Placement of organic acids into the cloaca prior to defeathering was tested to determine if such a treatment could lower the number of Campylobacter that escape and contaminate broiler breast skin during automated feather removal. Twelve mL of one molar acetic acid, lactic acid or proprionic acid was placed into the cloaca of broiler carcasses before scald; water was used for control carcasses. Campylobacter numbers on breast skin were measured by sponge sampling after scald (before defeathering) and again after defeathering. Regardless of acid, Campylobacter numbers on the breast skin of treated carcasses increased from an average of log 0.39 to an average of log 2.28 due to feather picking. However, this increase was significantly less than that observed in water treated controls which increased from log 0.53 to log 4.01 before and after defeathering, respectively. Placement of food grade bactericidal acids in the cloaca of broiler carcasses may be useful as a means to reduce the impact of automated defeathering on the microbiological quality of carcasses during processing.