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The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service determined populations of bacteria on poultry during processing at a slaughter plant in Puerto Rico in November and December 1987. The plant was selected because of its management's willingness to support important changes in equipment and processing procedures. The plant was representative of modern slaughter facilities. Eight-hundred samples were collected over 20 consecutive 8-hour days of operation from 5 sites in the processing plant. Results indicated that slaughter, dressing, and chilling practices significantly decreased the bacterial contamination on poultry carcasses, as determined by counts of aerobic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, and Escherichia coli. Salmonella was not enumerated; rather, it was determined to be present or absent by culturing almost the entire rinse. The prevalence of Salmonella in the study decreased during evisceration, then increased during immersion chilling.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association