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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 #315303

Title: Microbiology and evisceration efficiency of broiler carcasses slaughtered and held up to 8 hours postmortem prior to scalding and defeathering

item Bourassa, Dianna
item WILSON, KIMBERLY - University Of Georgia
item HARRIS, CAITLIN - University Of Georgia
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff

Submitted to: Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/13/2015
Publication Date: 7/13/2015
Citation: Bourassa, D.V., Wilson, K.M., Harris, C.E., Buhr, R.J. 2015. Microbiology and evisceration efficiency of broiler carcasses slaughtered and held up to 8 hours postmortem prior to scalding and defeathering. Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract. Poultry Science. 94:(E-Suppl.1)268. p.92.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The implementation of on farm slaughter could eliminate potential animal welfare issues associated with cooping, transport, dumping, and shackling live broilers. This research evaluated evisceration efficiency and the microbiological implications of delaying scalding and defeathering for up to 8 h after slaughter. Live male broilers were obtained from a commercial processing plant and in batches of 10 were stunned at 15 V for 10 s, and bled for 2 min. Carcasses that were held prior to scalding were transferred to stationary shackles and remained suspended by their feet for 1, 2, 4, or 8 h. All carcasses were hard scalded at 60°C/140°F for 90 s and defeathered for 30 s. Carcasses were sampled post-evisceration from the 0 or 8 h groups for microbiological analysis. Whole carcass rinses (WCR) were sampled for aerobic plate count (APC), Enterobacteriaceae (EB), Salmonella, and Campylobacter. Ilea and ceca were sampled for Lactobacillus, EB, total anaerobes, Salmonella, and Campylobacter. For WCR APC, EB, and Campylobacter were higher (5.38, 4.64 log10 cfu, 100%) at 8 h compared to 0 h (4.73, 4.02 log10 cfu, 40%). EB and total anaerobes were higher at 8 h (6.30, 6.74 log10 cfu) compared to 0 h (4.51, 4.98 log10 cfu) for ilea while there was no difference in Lactobacillus, Salmonella, or Campylobacter. For ceca no differences were detected between 0 and 8 h. Carcasses were examined post-pick for broken bones and for evisceration efficiency. For 0 and 1 h groups no carcasses had broken bones. After 2 and 4 h, 7% of carcasses had a broken bone and after 8 h 30% had a broken bone. For evisceration at 0, 1, 2, 4, and 8 h, packs were not transferred for 5, 7, 13, 7, and 10% of carcasses, respectively. These experiments reveal that increases in APC, EB, total anaerobes, and Campylobacter 8 h post-slaughter from WCR and/or ilea samples may be a concern that will need to be addressed. Carcasses subjected to delayed scalding/defeathering appear to eviscerate as efficiently as non-delayed carcasses but may have more broken bones possibly due to less pliability during defeathering.