This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Use of a Scald Additive to Reduce Levels of Salmonella During Poultry Processing




Townsend, Julie

Type of Degree



Poultry Science


The risk of cross contamination of food-borne pathogens such as Salmonella during poultry processing remains of great concern to the poultry industry. One of the most critical steps in poultry processing where cross contamination may occur is scalding. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the efficacy of the commercial scald additive, RP Scald, in reducing levels of Salmonella during the scalding phase of poultry processing. Preliminary in vitro experiments were conducted to assess the effectiveness of RP Scald as an antimicrobial at hard scald (56.6°C), soft scald (50°C), and room temperatures (~25°C) in tap water and actual scald water containing high organic loads. Water pH and temperature were monitored to gain insight on how RP Scald achieves microbial reductions. In-plant experiments were conducted to determine the capability RP Scald in a commercial setting to reduce levels of Salmonella in hard scald and soft scald environments. In order to determine the effects of organic matter and microbial loads on the efficacy of RP Scald, water quality measurements were also monitored. In vitro and in-plant results indicated that RP Scald was effective in reducing levels of Salmonella at hard scald, soft scald and room temperatures in tap water as well as in scald water. The effectiveness of RP Scald was attributed to the alkaline environment created by the scald additive. Furthermore, water quality parameters such as high organic loads in scald water did not reduce the antimicrobial effectiveness of RP Scald. Data suggests that RP Scald could provide an effective and practical intervention strategy in poultry processing plants to reduce levels of Salmonella.