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Title: Pre-chill antimicrobial treatment to enhance the safety of chicken parts

item STEININGER, C - University Of Georgia
item HARRISON, M - University Of Georgia
item Berrang, Mark

Submitted to: International Association for Food Protection
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/23/2015
Publication Date: 7/25/2015
Citation: Steininger, C.G., Harrison, M.A., Berrang, M.E. 2015. Pre-chill antimicrobial treatment to enhance the safety of chicken parts. International Association for Food Protection. 78(Suppl A):171.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Introduction: There is an increase in microbial prevalence as a chicken carcass transitions from a whole broiler to cut-up parts. One hypothesis to explain this occurrence is that bacteria in water retained during the pre-chill processing step is released upon cut-up, leading to contamination of chicken parts. Purpose: The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of applying an antimicrobial treatment in the pre-chill tank to reduce the prevalence or numbers of E. coli, Campylobacter, and Salmonella on chicken parts. Methods: Commercially eviscerated broiler carcasses were collected and subjected to sequential pre-chill and cut-up procedures in a pilot plant. Selective enrichment and isolation of Campylobacter spp. and Salmonella spp., as well as enumeration of total aerobic bacteria and E. coli/coliforms, was performed using carcass rinses at the following points: before processing, after 15 minute pre-chill (22-25oC water), after 30 minute chill (0-4oC water), and following cut up into parts. Six pre-chill, antimicrobial treatments were evaluated: 50 ppm chlorine, 50 ppm chlorine + 0.5% T-128, 20 ppm peracetic acid, 20 ppm peracetic acid + 0.5% T-128, 0.5% T-128, and water. Results: Addition of 0.5% T-128 to water, 20 ppm peracetic acid, and 50 ppm chlorine during pre-chill resulted in a significant decrease by ~1.5-2.0 log (p<0.05) in total aerobic bacteria and E. coli/coliforms following pre-chill. A significant increase by ~0.5 log (p<0.05) following cut-up was only seen with E. coli/coliforms in the previously mentioned wash solutions. Significance: Results of this study indicate that water retention in the pre-chill tank is likely not the cause of increased microbial prevalence on chicken parts and indicate the source can be attributed to other modes of contamination such as poor sanitation in processing facilities or cross-contamination by workers during cut up. However, Smartwash T-128 may serve as an effective additive to wash water in the poultry industry.