Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #206358


item Oscar, Thomas

Submitted to: Journal of Food Safety
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/14/2007
Publication Date: 7/17/2008
Citation: Oscar, T.P. 2008. Persistence of salmonella serotypes on chicken skin after exposure to kosher salt and rinsing. Journal of Food Safety. 28:389-399.

Interpretive Summary: Jewish dietary laws have been in existence for thousands of years but have received little attention from the scientific community for their potential beneficial effects for improving the quality and safety of poultry products. Practices employed during the kosher processing of poultry may be amendable to non-kosher processing of poultry. Consequently, this study was undertaken to determine the effect of kosher salt followed by rinsing on the contamination of chicken with Salmonella. Results of the study indicated that kosher salt alone did not reduce Salmonella contamination but that when kosher salt was followed by rinsing, Salmonella contamination was reduced by 80%. This process (kosher salt plus rinsing) is believed to reduce Salmonella contamination by preventing attachment of Salmonella or by removing Salmonella that are attached to chicken. This simple method can be applied in the home to improve the safety of retail chicken.

Technical Abstract: A series of experiments with chicken skin were undertaken to determine the effect of kosher salt followed by rinsing on persistence of Salmonella spp. Chicken skin portions (2.14 cm2) were inoculated with 0.4 to 3.7 log10CFU of Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 or Salmonella Kentucky followed by a 15 min incubation at 12 or 24 degree C. Skins were then exposed or not to kosher salt for 60 min at 12 or 24 degree C followed or not by a 15 min rinse in 100 ml of 12 or 24 degree C spring water. Prevalence of Salmonella spp. was assessed by incubation in buffered peptone water (38 degree C for 24 h) followed by spot inoculation (2 ul) and incubation (38 degree C for 24 h) on a selective media (XL agar) with four antibiotics and a buffering agent. Prevalence of S. Typhimurium DT104 (0.5 log10 CFU) was reduced (P < 0.0001) from 93% to 21% by kosher salt followed by rinsing as compared to 48% for rinsing alone; results were similar for S. Kentucky and for 12 and 24 degree C. The beneficial effect of kosher salt on reducing prevalence of Salmonella spp. was not observed when initial pathogen levels were greater than 2.5 log10 CFU. Results indicated that proper salting of chickens during koshering processing is important to control Salmonella spp. contamination on the finished product.