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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Siragusa, Gregory
item Dorsa, Warren
item Cutter, Catherine
item Perino, Louis
item Koohmaraie, Mohammad

Submitted to: Journal of Bioluminescence and Chemiluminescence
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/2/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The rapid microbial ATP bioluminescence assay is a test for determining the high numbers of total bacteria in a poultry carcass sponge sample. Such high numbers of bacteria are likely to be associated with fecal contamination on a carcass. The rapid microbial ATP bioluminescence test does in 5 minutes what the standard bacteria plate count takes 36 hours to accomplish. ATP is an energy molecule common to all living organisms, including bacteria. The amount of bacteria ATP corresponds to the amount of bacteria in a sample. The protocol, briefly, is to obtain a sponge sample of the surface of a carcass, remove the bacteria from the sponge by using a paddling device, extract the interfering non-bacterial ATP, then detect the amount of bacterial ATP in the sample. The microbial ATP assay can detect microbial contamination on a poultry carcass within 5 minutes, including sampling. This assay has potential for use as a near real time monitor of the levels of bacterial contamination on a carcass during the stages of processing. It has been tested on 329 carcasses (beef, pork, and poultry) resulting in agreements between the poultry microbial ATP test and standard plate counts of over 80%.

Technical Abstract: A rapid microbial ATP bioluminescence test (R-mATP) was shown to be an adequate means to assay the microbial load of poultry carcasses. SamplesPoultry carcass samples were obtained from three different commercial broiler plants from four different critical control points within the plants. Sampling sites were: post-defeathering, post-evisceration, post-wash and post-chill. Correlation coefficient (r) between aerobic plate counts and R-mATP test results (n = 329) was 0.82. Post-test probabilities to correctly classify carcasses with different levels of microbial contamination were 98% for samples of > = 3.5 log aerobic CFU per ml, 97% for samples of > = 4.0 log aerobic CFU per ml, 95% for samples of > = 4.5 log aerobic CFU per ml, 75% for samples of > = 5.0 log aerobic CFU per ml. Given the rapidity of this assay (approximately 5 min to complete, including sampling), the R-mATP holds potential for monitoring the microbial load of carcasses at poultry processing critical control points.

Last Modified: 05/26/2017
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