Effects of chlorination of chill water on the bacteriologic profile of raw chicken carcasses and giblets

William O. James From the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, Science and Technology, Washington, DC 20250.

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Robert L. Brewer From the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, Science and Technology, Washington, DC 20250.

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John C. Prucha From the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, Science and Technology, Washington, DC 20250.

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W. Oliver Williams Jr. From the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, Science and Technology, Washington, DC 20250.

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Delila R. Parham
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Summary

In March 1989, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service sampled raw chicken carcasses and giblets at a federally inspected slaughter establishment in Puerto Rico to determine the effects of adding chlorine to carcass and giblet chill water on bacterial contents of raw poultry products. Over four 8-hour workdays, 200 carcass rinse samples were collected at 3 sites in the establishment; 39 giblet rinse samples were collected at 1 site. Analyses of the carcass rinse samples indicated that carcasses had average aerobe plate counts of log10 3.20 before chilling and 2.51 after chilling; Enterobacteriaceae counts of log10 2.57 before chilling and 1.75 after chilling; and Escherichia coli counts of log10 2.04 before chilling and 1.20 after chilling. Salmonellae were found on 43% of the carcasses before chilling and on 46% after chilling. Analyses of the giblet and neck rinse samples indicated that raw giblets and necks after chilling had average aerobe plate count of log10 3.49, Enterobacteriaceae count of log10 2.57, and E coli count of log10 1.06. Salmonellae were found on 12% of the giblets and necks sampled.

Results compared favorably with giblet and neck rinse sample results obtained during a baseline sampling study in November and December 1987. The baseline results indicated aerobe plate count of log10 3.72; Enterobacteriaceae count of log10 2.90; E coli count of log10 1.14; and salmonellae on 69% of the giblets and necks sampled.

Placing raw chicken carcasses in chlorinated chill water reduced aerobe, Enterobacteriaceae, and E coli plate counts. Prevalence of carcasses with salmonellae remained nearly the same. Results indicate that chlorination of chill water aids in control of bacterial crosscontamination of carcasses and giblets and necks.

Summary

In March 1989, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service sampled raw chicken carcasses and giblets at a federally inspected slaughter establishment in Puerto Rico to determine the effects of adding chlorine to carcass and giblet chill water on bacterial contents of raw poultry products. Over four 8-hour workdays, 200 carcass rinse samples were collected at 3 sites in the establishment; 39 giblet rinse samples were collected at 1 site. Analyses of the carcass rinse samples indicated that carcasses had average aerobe plate counts of log10 3.20 before chilling and 2.51 after chilling; Enterobacteriaceae counts of log10 2.57 before chilling and 1.75 after chilling; and Escherichia coli counts of log10 2.04 before chilling and 1.20 after chilling. Salmonellae were found on 43% of the carcasses before chilling and on 46% after chilling. Analyses of the giblet and neck rinse samples indicated that raw giblets and necks after chilling had average aerobe plate count of log10 3.49, Enterobacteriaceae count of log10 2.57, and E coli count of log10 1.06. Salmonellae were found on 12% of the giblets and necks sampled.

Results compared favorably with giblet and neck rinse sample results obtained during a baseline sampling study in November and December 1987. The baseline results indicated aerobe plate count of log10 3.72; Enterobacteriaceae count of log10 2.90; E coli count of log10 1.14; and salmonellae on 69% of the giblets and necks sampled.

Placing raw chicken carcasses in chlorinated chill water reduced aerobe, Enterobacteriaceae, and E coli plate counts. Prevalence of carcasses with salmonellae remained nearly the same. Results indicate that chlorination of chill water aids in control of bacterial crosscontamination of carcasses and giblets and necks.

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