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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Bacterial Epidemiology & Antimicrobial Resistance Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #347267

Research Project: Control Strategies and Evaluation of the Microbial Ecology Associated with Foodborne Pathogens and Poultry Processing

Location: Bacterial Epidemiology & Antimicrobial Resistance Research

Title: Campylobacter prevalence in retail chicken liver

Author
item Thompson, Tori - Louis Stokes Alliances For Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program
item Berrang, Mark
item Cox, Nelson - Nac
item Meinersmann, Richard - Rick

Submitted to: International Poultry Scientific Forum
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Foodborne campylobacteriosis has been linked to undercooked chicken liver. It is unknown how commonly chicken livers are contaminated with Campylobacter. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter on chicken livers available at retail. For each of five weeks, two to four packages of chicken livers (total of 15), each representing a unique combination of processing plant and sell by date, were purchased at local supermarkets. From each package, three separate, whole livers were selected for sampling (n=45). Each liver was sampled by three methods, first a swab was used to sample the outer surface. Then, the surface was seared followed by sampling of the inner tissue by a swab stabbed through the sterilized surface. Finally, each liver was placed in 50 mL of enrichment broth and blended in a paddle blender; blended whole liver was sampled by swab. All swabs were used to directly apply sample to the surface of campy-cefex agar (CCA). Each swab and blended liver was also enriched in 10 mL Campylobacter enrichment broth 24 h at 42oC; the enriched sample was plated on CCA. All CCA plates were incubated 48 h at 42oC in a micro-aerobic atmosphere. Plates were examined for characteristic Campylobacter colonies which were confirmed by observation of cellular morphology and motility under phase contrast microscopy and positive reaction to a Campylobacter specific latex agglutination test. Campylobacter was detected on chicken livers: 64% of outside samples, 31% of inner tissue samples, and 64% of whole liver samples were positive for Campylobacter. To prevent campylobacteriosis, chicken livers should be fully cooked before consumption.

Technical Abstract: Foodborne campylobacteriosis has been linked to undercooked chicken liver. It is unknown how commonly chicken livers are contaminated with Campylobacter. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter on chicken livers available at retail. For each of five weeks, two to four packages of chicken livers (total of 15), each representing a unique combination of processing plant and sell by date, were purchased at local supermarkets. From each package, three separate, whole livers were selected for sampling (n=45). Each liver was sampled by three methods, first a swab was used to sample the outer surface. Then, the surface was seared followed by sampling of the inner tissue by a swab stabbed through the sterilized surface. Finally, each liver was placed in 50 mL of enrichment broth and blended in a paddle blender; blended whole liver was sampled by swab. All swabs were used to directly apply sample to the surface of campy-cefex agar (CCA). Each swab and blended liver was also enriched in 10 mL Campylobacter enrichment broth 24 h at 42oC; the enriched sample was plated on CCA. All CCA plates were incubated 48 h at 42oC in a micro-aerobic atmosphere. Plates were examined for characteristic Campylobacter colonies which were confirmed by observation of cellular morphology and motility under phase contrast microscopy and positive reaction to a Campylobacter specific latex agglutination test. Campylobacter was detected on chicken livers: 64% of outside samples, 31% of inner tissue samples, and 64% of whole liver samples were positive for Campylobacter. To prevent campylobacteriosis, chicken livers should be fully cooked before consumption.