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Title: Survival of naturally occurring Campylobacter in refrigerated and frozen rinsate from a broiler carcass

item Cox Jr, Nelson
item LARRY, RICHARSON - Coca-Cola Company
item Berrang, Mark
item Rigsby, Luanne
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff
item Plumblee Lawrence, Jodie
item Cray, Paula

Submitted to: Poultry Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/2/2012
Publication Date: 7/9/2012
Citation: Cox Jr, N.A., Larry, R.J., Berrang, M.E., Rigsby, L.L., Buhr, R.J., Plumblee, J., Cray, P.J. 2012. Survival of naturally occurring Campylobacter in refrigerated and frozen rinsate from a broiler carcass. Poultry Science. 91(Suppl. 1):156.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to determine if naturally occurring Campylobacter in a broiler rinsate could survive in cold storage. Ten commercial broiler carcasses were each rinsed with 500 ml of Butterfield’s buffer and all carcasses tested positive for the presence of 104-105/ml naturally occurring Campylobacter. Each rinse was subdivided into twelve 25-ml aliquots, without cryoprotectant, and stored at 4oC or -23oC. At four month intervals, one aliquot per rinse sample was taken from each storage temperature and tested by direct streaking (DS) onto Cefex plates or by adding 5 ml to 45 ml of Bolton’s (B) or Tecra (T) broth; after 48h at 42oC all cultures were streaked onto Cefex plates. After 4 months at 4oC, 0/10, 7/10 and 3/10 were positive by DS, B and T, respectively, while 0/10, 1/10 and 4/10 were positive by DS, B, and T, respectively, at -23oC. From 4 months to 2 years, all 4oC samples were negative, while 2/10 frozen samples were positive in both B and T after 8 months and 1/10 with B for 8-20 months and negative at 24 months. With T, all -23oC samples were negative from 8-24 months. Aliquots tested in B from sample #6 were positive after 8 and 20 months frozen storage but negative at other times, while sample #7 was only positive at 16 months. Isolates were characterized as C. jejuni, resistant to nalidixic acid and ciprofloxacin. In this limited study it appears that B was slightly better than T for recovery of Campylobacter stored at low temperatures. While Campylobacter are thought to be fragile, this study demonstrates survival after long term frozen storage in rinsate alone. Therefore frozen raw foods that are naturally contaminated with Campylobacter may still pose a potential health hazard even after 1-2 years in a freezer. Key Words: Campylobacter, cold storage, broilers