The role of defeathering in the contamination of turkey skin by Salmonella species and Listeria monocytogenes.

C. S. Clouser, S. Doores, M. G. Mast, S. J. Knabel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study was undertaken to determine whether the incidence of either Salmonella spp. or Listeria monocytogenes on turkeys at three commercial processors could be related to the type of defeathering system: 1) conventional, 58 C common bath scald; 2) kosher, 7 C common bath scald; or 3) steam-spray, 62 C nonimmersion scald. Flocks were sampled before defeathering, after defeathering, and after chill at each facility. The incidence of Salmonella-positive turkeys significantly increased subsequent to conventional defeathering (10 positive out of 14) as compared with before defeathering (3/14). The number of Salmonella-positive carcasses following kosher (0/14) and steam-spray (2/14) defeathering were similar to the number of Salmonella-positive carcasses found prior to defeathering (1/14 and 3/14, respectively). The incidence of Salmonella-positive carcasses following chill was slightly lower, but not significantly different than the number of Salmonella-positive carcasses found immediately following defeathering at all processors (8/14, 0/14, 1/14 for conventional, kosher, and steam-spray processors, respectively). Although L. monocytogenes was detected on turkeys sampled before chilling (2/10, kosher) and after chilling (8/14, kosher; 1/14, conventional), no L. monocytogenes was detected on turkeys at any of the processors prior to the evisceration process. Flocks with high aerobic plate counts prior to processing were more likely to contain Salmonella-positive birds throughout processing. Aerobic plate counts of all flocks were similar after chill whether or not Salmonella spp. and L. monocytogenes were detected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-731
Number of pages9
JournalPoultry science
Volume74
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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