ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

Chicken Carcass Contamination Study

by 5m Editor
22 July 2008, at 10:13am

CANADA - A baseline study conducted by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development's Food Safety Division (FSD) has determined that the presence of food-borne pathogens and bacteria in Alberta chicken carcasses is similar to that found in other areas.

The study, which involved collecting 1,474 samples from poultry carcasses in 65 provincially inspected abattoirs, is the first one conducted in the province and will be used to assess procedures introduced to improve food safety.

"We intend to do another study to see if these procedures (interventions) have made a difference. If you don't have this baseline, you cannot measure improvements," says Dr Valerie Bohaychuk, a FSD scientist for Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.


*
""We intend to do another study to see if these procedures (interventions) have made a difference. If you don't have this baseline, you cannot measure improvements."
Dr. Valerie Bohaychuk, a FSD scientist for Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

Although the levels of bacteria found during the study are comparable to other jurisdictions, there is always room for improvement in the chicken production chain to reduce those levels, Dr Bohaychuk says.

Efforts are already underway in the province to improve good manufacturing practices and to put into place Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)-based processes in the slaughterhouses.

HACCP is recognized around the world as a science-based system to ensure food safety by preventing potential hazards before they can impact food safety. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development can provide some funding to eligible processors under a federal program to improve food safety systems. The department also offers some technical guidance on the development of food safety systems.

It took a little more than a year to collect the samples during 2004 and 2005. The project was a collaborative project with FSD and the Regulatory Services Division, involving more than 30 people including scientists, lab technicians, veterinary epidemiologists and inspectors.

The rinsed chicken carcasses were tested for non-food-borne disease-causing bacteria (total aerobic bacteria, coliform bacteria and E. coli) and food-borne disease-causing bacteria (shiga toxin-producing E. coli, salmonella and campylobacter).

The study is part of a comprehensive system of government projects looking at many types of food from farm to fork.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

5m Editor