Poultry processing Campylobacter hotspots highlighted in French study

Monday 28 June 2010

Chicken batches slaughtered later in the schedule, pre-thinning flocks prior to slaughtering and temperatures in the evisceration room topping 15C are all factors likely to increase the risk of campylobacter in poultry processing, said new research.

The study – Prevalence of and risk factors for Campylobacter ssp contamination of broiler chicken carcasses at the slaughterhouse, by Oliver Hue et al - highlighted evisceration as the “operation contributing most to the spread of contamination”.

It added that dirty marks visible on carcasses after the process also heightened the threat from the bacteria – which could be caused as processing equipment cannot adapt to differing carcass sizes. The equipment and the machines could also e dirtied and therefore could contaminate the following carcasses, said the research.

The findings of the paper, published in the journal Food Microbiology, could be used in HACCP risk management techniques, said the authors.

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