Main content area

Reducing Campylobacter numbers on chicken carcasses using lactic acid in processing plants

Burfoot, Dean, Allen, Vivien, Mulvey, Elizabeth, Jewell, Keith, Harrison, Dawn, Morris, Victoria
International journal of food science & technology 2015 v.50 no.11 pp. 2451-2457
Campylobacter, air, chicken carcasses, lactic acid, meat processing plants, neck, pH, sodium, sprayers, spraying
Four trials were carried out at a broiler processing plant to examine the effectiveness of spraying lactic acid solutions for reducing the numbers of Campylobacter on carcasses. The carcasses were naturally contaminated and treated after the inside–outside washer and before the air chiller. Carcasses were treated by spraying in a tunnel or with one of two hand‐held sprayers. Carcasses were treated with a 1.9%, 4% or 8% solution of lactic acid buffered to pH 4 using sodium lactate, and testing was carried out on skin samples from the breast or back/neck. Treating carcasses with 1.9% acid was not effective. Treatments with 4% acid reduced the numbers of Campylobacter on breast skin by 0.4 log₁₀ cfu g⁻¹ or less and on back/neck skin by 0.8 log₁₀ cfu g⁻¹. Spraying with an 8% acid solution in the tunnel produced a 1.9‐log cfu g⁻¹ reduction on breast skin but adversely affected the appearance of the carcasses. Further work is suggested with a 5% solution with consumer testing for acceptability of appearance.