Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Develop Methods to Assess and Improve Poultry and Eggs Quality

Location: Quality & Safety Assessment Research

Title: Influence of hard water ions on the growth of salmonella in poultry processing water

item Holser, Ronald

Submitted to: Frontiers in Environmental Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/8/2014
Publication Date: 6/24/2014
Citation: Holser, R.A. 2014. Influence of hard water ions on the growth of salmonella in poultry processing water. Frontiers in Environmental Engineering. 3(1):11-15.

Interpretive Summary: The impact of water chemistry in poultry processing was examined and shown to possess antibacterial properties when common hard water ions were present. Such hard water is produced as groundwater flows through geological formations and minerals become dissolved. The water is often quite flavorful but can produce for salt formation and deposition on wetted surfaces. In the process environment this may not be desirable, however, the hard water is a safe and effective biocidal. Advantage can be taken of this property to reduce contamination of fresh poultry products and operating costs. These results should be considered by industry when developing a water management plan.

Technical Abstract: The influence of magnesium and calcium ions in process water on the growth of Salmonella was evaluated and related to the contamination in process wastewater. Salmonella typhimurium was grown in the laboratory and exposed to 500 mg/kg and 1000 mg/kg of magnesium and calcium ions to simulate hard process water. Growth curves exhibited a lag time that measured the inhibitory influence of these ions. Results were compared to the application of trisodium phosphate solutions commonly used as a disinfectant. Exposure to hard water ions showed antimicrobial activity toward S. typhimurium comparable to treatment with 5% trisodium phosphate. This is significant in poultry washing and chilling operations where process water contacts poultry carcasses and becomes contaminated with pathogenic bacteria transferred through the process into the wastewater.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page