Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/13/2008
Publication Date: 11/1/2008
Citation: Northcutt, J.K., Mcneal, W.D., Ingram, K.D., Buhr, R.J., Fletcher, D.L. 2008. Bacteria recovery from genetically featherless broiler carcasses after forced cloacal fecal expulsion. Poultry Science. 87:(11) 2377-2381.
Interpretive Summary: A study was conducted to investigate the effects of controlled cloacal fecal expulsion prior to scalding on bacteria recovery from broiler carcasses. Live broilers were given a suspension containing bacteria. After a holding period, broilers were processed and the carcasses were divided into three treatment groups. Carcasses were passes through a machine designed to induce defecation (squeeze) and then remove external feces (wash). Treatments were obtained by turning the squeezing and washing components of the machine on or off. Treatments were as follows: S carcasses were squeezed but not washed; W carcasses were not squeezed but were washed; and SW carcasses were squeezed and washed. No difference was observed in concentrations of total aerobic bacteria, Escherichia coli, coliforms and Campylobacter recovered from carcasses in all three treatments; however, levels of Salmonella were 96% higher on S carcasses as compared to SW carcasses and no Salmonella was detected on W carcasses. Bacterial populations in the wash water used to remove expel feces from carcasses were also examined. Levels of total aerobic bacteria and coliforms found in the wash water collected from SW carcasses were 99.9 and 96.7% higher, respectively than the levels found in the wash water collected from W carcasses. These results demonstrate that controlled cloacal fecal expulsion immediately after slaughter can be used to reduce carcass contamination.
Technical Abstract: A study was conducted to determine external microbiology of genetically featherless broiler carcasses after forced cloacal fecal expulsion. Full-fed featherless broilers were placed into coops, transported, unloaded, shackled, stunned, suffocated, weighed and divided into three treatments groups. Carcasses were transferred to a separate shackle line and passed through a machine designed to induce defecation (squeeze) and then remove external feces (wash). Treatments were obtained by turning the squeezing and washing components on or off. Treatments were as follows: S carcasses were squeezed but not washed; W carcasses were not squeezed but were washed; and SW carcasses were squeezed and washed. Concentrations of total aerobic bacteria (AB), Escherichia coli (EC), coliforms (CF), and Campylobacter (CP) recovered from whole carcass rinses did not vary with treatment (P > 0.05); however, counts of Salmonella (SAL) in the rinses of S carcasses were 1.4 log10 cfu/mL greater than counts of SAL found in rinses of SW carcasses (P < 0.05). SAL prevalence was similar for S (86% positive), W (90% positive) and SW (83% positive) carcasses (P > 0.05). Populations of AB and CF recovered wash water for SW carcasses were significantly higher by 3.1 and 1.5 log10 cfu/mL, respectively than the populations of the same bacteria recovered from wash water from W carcasses (P < 0.05). Levels of EC and CP recovered from wash water did not vary with treatment. There was no difference in CP and SAL prevalence in water collected after washing W carcasses or SW carcasses (P > 0.05). Data from the present study show that controlled cloacal fecal explusion immediately after slaughter can be used to reduce carcass fecal material, and therefore could be used to minimize the likelihood of visible contamination and associated bacteria during subsequent processing steps.