Antimicrobial activity of decontamination treatments for poultry carcasses

Marianne Loretza, Roger Stephana and Claudio Zweifel, Institute for Food Safety and Hygiene, Vetsuisse Faculty University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland

Received 28 September 2009; revised 4 November 2009; accepted 18 November 2009. Available online 23 November 2009.

The decontamination of poultry carcasses is gaining increased interest in Europe, especially because poultry is implicated as a risk factor in human campylobacteriosis. Thus we appraised the antibacterial activity of interventions applied on poultry carcasses. Physical interventions included water-based treatments, irradiation, ultrasound, air chilling, or freezing. Especially hot water, steam, Electrolyzed Water, and irradiation effectively reduced the bacterial load. Reductions obtained by hot water, steam, and Electrolyzed Water mainly ranged from 0.9 to 2.1, 2.3 to 3.8, and 1.1 to 2.3 orders of magnitude, respectively. However, hot water or steam might exert an adverse impact on the carcass appearance. Chemical interventions primarily comprised organic acids, chlorine-based treatments, or phosphate-based treatments. Thereby, acetic and lactic acid, acidified sodium chlorite, and trisodium phosphate mainly yielded reductions in the range from 1.0 to 2.2 orders of magnitude. Besides, some combination treatments further enhanced the reductions. However, organic matter often reduces the antimicrobial activity of chemicals. Furthermore, biological interventions (e.g. bacteriophages) constitute promising alternatives, but further investigations are required. Although the mentioned interventions reduced the bacterial loads on poultry carcasses to some extent, decontamination treatments always must be considered part of an integral food safety system.

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One Response to “Antimicrobial activity of decontamination treatments for poultry carcasses”

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    Antimicrobial activity of decontamination treatments for poultry carcasses | Electrolyzed Water

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