Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Poultry Microbiological Safety and Processing Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #311448

Title: Re-evaluation of broiler carcass scalding protocols for impact on the recovery of Campylobacter from breast skin after defeathering

item HOWARD, AMANDA - University Of Georgia
item WILSON, KIMBERLY - University Of Georgia
item Bourassa, Dianna
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff

Submitted to: International Poultry Scientific Forum
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/20/2014
Publication Date: 1/26/2015
Citation: Howard, A., Wilson, K., Bourassa, D.V., Buhr, R.J. 2015. Re-evaluation of broiler carcass scalding protocols for impact on the recovery of Campylobacter from breast skin after defeathering [abstract]. International Poultry Scientific Forum. 94:(E-Suppl. 1)M44. p.14. 2015.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This research re-evaluated the impact of scalding protocols on the recovery of Campylobacter from breast skin following defeathering after preliminary processing trials detected Campylobacter from breast skin for 4/8 carcasses that had vents plugged and sutured prior to scalding. Published research indicated that when fecal expulsion during defeathering was prevented carcass breast skin was Campylobacter negative when sampled following immersion scalding at 58.3ºC/137ºF for 90 s and defeathering. Five days after oral challenge with a gentamycin resistant strain of Campylobacter coli (10^8 cells), broilers were subjected to a 12 h feed withdrawal and transported (5 broilers per solid bottom coop) to the pilot plant. Batches of 5 broilers (2 batches for each scalding protocol) were stunned at 15 V for 10 s, bled for 2 min, and during bleeding vents were plugged and sutured closed. Carcasses were hard scalded at 60ºC/140ºF for a total immersion time 90 s in either a single, double, or triple tanks. The picker had been adjusted to achieve acceptable defeathering with minimal overpicking of the hips and elbows. All carcasses were defeathered for 30 s in a single 4 bank picker, and breast skin (including the sternal and pectoral feather tracts) was aseptically excised. The picker was rinsed with 82ºC/180ºF water between each batch of carcasses and the scalders were drained and rinsed after completion of 1 batch for each scalding protocol. With direct plating, Campylobacter was not recovered from any carcasses that were single tank scalded (0/10), but was recovered from 2/10 carcasses that were double tank scalded, and from 4/10 that were triple tank scalded. Breast skin from all carcasses was Campylobacter positive when samples were plated after 24 h enrichment. These results agree with the published results, that when the carcasses vents are plugged and sutured and then are single tank scalded for 90 s no Campylobacter was recovered from breast skin sampled by direct plating. However, comparable results are not obtained when scalding immersion time is subdivided in double (45 s each) or triple (30 s each) tanks.