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This study examined the impact of key processing stages and flock variables on the prevalence of Campylobacter on broiler carcasses. Overall, the prevalence of Campylobacter was 62% in caeca, and 68%, 65% and 62% in neck skin samples collected after evisceration, final wash and carcass chilling, respectively. Campylobacter were found in 32% of caeca, and 52%, 40% and 32% of neck skin samples collected after evisceration, final wash and carcass chilling, respectively from first thin broiler batches. Final thin broiler batches were more frequently contaminated with prevalences of 83% found in caeca, 80% in neck skin samples collected after evisceration and 83% found in neck skin samples collected after both final wash and carcass chilling stages (p < 0.05). Thinning status had a significant effect on Campylobacter counts with significantly higher counts observed in samples from final thin batches (p < 0.05). Highest Campylobacter concentrations in neck skin samples were observed at the evisceration stage in both first and final thin samples, with counts ranging from 2.0 to 3.8 log10 CFU/g and 2.3 to 4.8 log10 CFU/g in first and final thin batches, respectively. All first thin samples had counts below the European Union (EU) Process Hygiene Criterion threshold level of 3 log10 CFU/g after chilling while 52% of final thin batches had counts above this limit.
Emanowicz, M. et al., 2020. The impact of key processing stages and flock variables on the prevalence and levels of Campylobacter on broiler carcasses. Food Microbiology, p.103688. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2020.103688.