Evaluation of Poultry Meat Safety and Quality using Peracetic Acid in Poultry Chillers
Type of DegreeDissertation
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Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp. continue to be pathogens of concern in poultry processing as they are the leading foodborne illnesses associated with bacteria in foods. In the poultry processing industry, multiple intervention strategies are used in the processing plant to help to reduce and eliminate these pathogens from poultry products. With performance standards becoming more rigid, the control of these organisms has become very important to poultry processors. Peracetic acid (PAA or PHAP) is one of the approved antimicrobials that can be utilized in the immersion chiller used in poultry processing to bring carcass temperatures down to 4 C. Experiments were conducted to validate the efficacy of various levels of PAA (25, 100, 150 and 200 ppm) compared to the more traditional chlorine (30 ppm), in the reduction of Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp. in the poultry processing plant, while also determining the effects of this antimicrobial on product quality and consumer acceptance. After determining which levels of PAA were most effective without changing any organoleptic properties or consumer acceptance, the efficacy of PAA was demonstrated in a commercial poultry processing facility. There were minimal product quality changes in product treated with higher levels of PAA (≥150 ppm), however, PAA at higher levels were able to decrease levels of Salmonella Typhimurium and Campylobacter jejuni, while also demonstrating an extended product shelf-life. When PAA (85 ppm) and chlorine (30 ppm) were used in a commercial processing facility, the prevalence of Salmonella spp. between the entrance and exit of the chiller was reduced by 91.8% and 56.8%, respectively. Campylobacter spp. were not reduced as greatly as Salmonella spp.; however, PAA still provided a larger reduction in Campylobacter spp. (43.4%) when compared to the reduction found when chlorine was used (12.8%). These results indicate that PAA may provide poultry processors with a more effective antimicrobial for use in the immersion chiller, when compared to chlorine, as another hurdle in a multi-hurdle approach to food safety in the poultry processing facility.