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Study on Campylobacter in Chilean Poultry Plants

by 5m Editor
22 May 2009, at 8:24am

CHILE - At an average of 54 per cent, the levels of Campylobacter contamination on broiler carcasses in processing plants were similar to those found in studies in other countries, and the highest rates were found after evisceration. Guillermo O. Figueroa and colleagues at the University of Chile have published the results of their study in <em>BMC Microbiology</em>.

Background

Thermotolerant Campylobacter are among the more prevalent bacterial pathogens that cause foodborne diseases.

This study aimed at evaluating the occurrence of thermotolerant Campylobacter contamination in chicken carcasses and processing plant stations (chilling water, scalding water, de-feathering machinery, evisceration machine and transport crates) in two of the Chilean main slaughterhouses.

In addition, the isolation rates of thermotolerant Campylobacter during evisceration and following chiller processing were compared.

Results

The overall slaughterhouse contamination with thermotolerant Campylobacter was 54 per cent. Differences were evident when the results from each plant were compared: plants A and B was 72 per cent and 36 per cent, respectively.

The sampling points with the greatest contamination rates in both plants were after evisceration (90 per cent and 54 per cent, for plants A and B, respectively).

The decrease of thermotolerant Campylobacter contamination after chilling was significant (2 and 1.6 logs for plants A and B, respectively, P<0.05).

Conclusions

Our findings indicate that chilling process has a limited effect in the final products Campylobacter contamination because poultry enter the slaughter processing with high counts of contamination. This may represent a health risk to consumers if proper cooking practices are not employed.

The levels and frequencies of Campylobacter found during the processing of Chilean poultry appear to be similar to those reported elsewhere in the world.

Reference

Figueroa G.O., M.R. Troncoso, C.E. Lopez, P.C. Rivas and M.A. Toro, 2009. Occurrence and enumeration of Campylobacter spp. during the processing of Chilean broilers. BMC Microbiology, 9:94. doi:10.1186/1471-2180-9-94.

Further Reading

- You can view the provisional version of the full report by clicking here.