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Research Project: Monitoring and Molecular Characterization of Antimicrobial Resistance in Foodborne Bacteria

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Title: Mild heat treatment of chicken livers to lessen Campylobacter contamination

item HUFF, HANNAH - University Of Georgia
item Berrang, Mark
item Cox Jr, Nelson
item Zhuang, Hong
item Bowker, Brian

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/19/2018
Publication Date: 7/15/2019
Citation: Huff, H., Berrang, M.E., Cox Jr, N.A., Zhuang, H., Bowker, B.C. 2019. Mild heat treatment of chicken livers to lessen Campylobacter contamination [abstract]. Meeting Abstract. 98(1):63-64.

Interpretive Summary: Interpretive summary not needed for an abstract submission

Technical Abstract: Undercooked chicken liver and chicken liver paté has been linked to foodborne campylobacteriosis. In previous studies, we have detected Campylobacter from retail chicken livers with high frequency. Therefore, a pre-packaging treatment to minimize Campylobacter on chicken livers may be helpful to lessen risk to consumers. The objective of this study was to test a mild heat treatment to decrease the numbers of Campylobacter on the surface and inner tissues of chicken livers. Eighteen replicate tubs of chicken livers, each representing a unique combination of plant number and sell by date, were purchased at retail. Three whole liver lobes (18-25 g each) were selected from each tub, placed in separate sterile plastic bags and subjected to 0, 1 or 5 min immersion in a 60' circulating water bath. After treatment, liver lobes were covered with 60 mL of 4oC Campylobacter enrichment broth and placed on ice. All liver lobes were rinsed by hand for 60 s; 10 mL of liver rinsate was removed for analysis. The liver lobe and remaining broth were then macerated for 30 seconds in a paddle blender. Total aerobic bacteria and Campylobacter were enumerated from the liver rinse and whole blended liver by plating on plate count agar (PCA) and Campy-Cefex (CC) agar respectively. Bacterial numbers were log10 transformed and compared by Students T test. One minute treatment at 60oC did not cause a significant decrease (P>0.05) in either total aerobic bacterial or Campylobacter numbers from rinses or stomached liver. However, livers subjected to 5 min at 60oC (internal temperature reaching a high of 55oC) had 1.4 - 1.5 log fewer CFU Campylobacter and 1.1 - 1.7 log fewer CFU total aerobic bacteria per liver lobe than did untreated livers (P<0.05). These data suggest that a mild heat treatment prior to packaging could lessen consumer exposure to Campylobacter.