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Treating poultry parts lowers bacteria countsTreating poultry parts lowers bacteria counts

Research evaluates methods to reduce salmonella and campylobacter levels in poultry parts and ground poultry products.

August 10, 2016

2 Min Read
Treating poultry parts lowers bacteria counts

The U.S. Poultry & Egg Assn. (USPOULTRY) and the USPOULTRY Foundation announced the completion of a funded research project at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., in which the researchers evaluated methods to reduce salmonella and campylobacter levels in poultry parts and ground poultry parts.

The research was made possible by an endowing gift from Koch Foods, and the project is part of the association’s comprehensive research program encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing.

The Auburn team, led by Dr. Sacit Bilgili, recently completed a research project in which they evaluated the ability of various antimicrobials to reduce salmonella and campylobacter levels in chicken parts and ground chicken. In addition, they measured the effect of the antimicrobials on product quality characteristics and product shelf life.

According to the researchers, in many cases, the microbiological loads on chicken parts and ground chicken are higher than on whole carcasses, so it is important to identify antimicrobials that can reduce the overall microbial loads without negatively affecting meat quality.

Also, they said it is important to identify effective and practical methods for application of antimicrobials to chicken parts before packaging or grinding.

The experiment had two objectives:

1. Evaluate the efficacy of salmonella and campylobacter reduction using various antimicrobials — 0.07% and 0.10% peracetic acid (PAA), 0.35% and 0.06% cetylpyridinium chlorine (CPC), 0.1% acidified sodium chloride (ASC) and 0.003% chlorine — when applied to poultry parts for market or ground meat product.

2. Determine if antimicrobial application has any associated effects on quality attributes of poultry parts and ground poultry products through sensory evaluation and shelf life determination.

A series of experiments was conducted in a pilot processing facility, and a continuous online decontamination tank was used for application of antimicrobials.

Based on the results from this study, the researchers concluded that PAA and CPC can be applied in a parts decontamination tank to control the recovery of Salmonella typhimurium and Campylobacter jejuni on poultry parts going to market or ground chicken meat products.

Furthermore, they said when parts were treated with PAA or CPC in the research processing environment, shelf life was increased. While there were some quality changes associated with the use of PAA, these were very small changes that a consumer may not be able to detect when looking at product in the market.

Therefore, the researchers concluded that treating chicken parts for packaging or before grinding with PAA or CPC not only may improve food safety but may maintain or enhance shelf life and quality.

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