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

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Title: Cetylpyridinium chloride and peracetic acid to lessen Campylobacter, Escherichia coli and total aerobic bacterial contamination on chicken liver

item Berrang, Mark
item Gamble, Gary
item Bowker, Brian
item Meinersmann, Richard - Rick
item Cox Jr, Nelson
item Knapp, Steven - Steve

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/8/2021
Publication Date: 10/22/2021
Citation: Berrang, M.E., Gamble, G.R., Bowker, B.C., Meinersmann, R.J., Cox Jr, N.A., Knapp, S.W. 2021. Cetylpyridinium chloride and peracetic acid to lessen Campylobacter, Escherichia coli and total aerobic bacterial contamination on chicken liver. Journal of Applied Poultry Research.

Interpretive Summary: Chicken livers may be contaminated with Campylobacter and undercooked chicken liver dishes have been linked to human foodborne disease. It is unclear how best to lessen or eliminate the risk of campylobacteriosis associated with consumer handling and consumption of fresh chicken liver. Towards this end, we tested immersion of chicken livers into various concentrations of two fully approved and commonly used antimicrobial processing aid chemicals: cetylpyrdinium chloride and peracetic acid. We found that for either chemical to be effective, livers had to be immersed for fifteen minutes in the highest allowable concentration. These treatments significantly lessened the bacterial numbers, including Campylobacter on the liver surface. When treated livers were blended, it was found that internal bacteria were not lessened to the same degree. Furthermore, peracetic acid treatment at the concentration necessary for reduction of bacterial numbers resulted in a noticeable and unappetizing color change from deep red to gray. None of the treatments fully eliminated Campylobacter from chicken livers. More research will be required to optimize chemical treatment of chicken livers for control of bacterial contamination.

Technical Abstract: Undercooked chicken liver dishes have been implicated in human outbreaks of campylobacteriosis. Campylobacter is readily isolated from the surface and internal tissue of chicken livers at slaughter and retail. We treated fresh liver lobes with 15 min immersion in cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) or peracetic acid (PAA) at concentrations ranging from 0 (control) to the highest allowable concentration and enumerated naturally occurring Campylobacter, Escherichia coli and total aerobic bacteria from the surface and within the whole blended lobe. The highest allowable concentration of CPC (8000 ppm) was required to significantly lessen the number of Campylobacter on the surface and in the whole blended liver lobe. Concentrations of 2000 and 4000 ppm were ineffective. Similarly, the highest allowable concentration of PAA resulted in significantly less Campylobacter on the surface of livers but did not lessen the numbers within the whole blended lobe. Application of PAA at 500 or 1000 ppm was ineffective. Liver lobe surface color was changed when treated with the highest concentration of either processing aid, especially PAA. The color change of PAA treated lobes was not negated by blending as would be done for a pate. Based on these data, CPC and PAA do not show tremendous promise as a practical means to eliminate Campylobacter from chicken liver.