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Effect of selected modified atmosphere packaging on Campylobacter survival in raw poultry

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Most current research on Campylobacter has focused on preharvest or processing plant cross-contamination. Little is known about the effect of storage environment on the survival of Campylobacter on raw poultry. We evaluated the effects of modified storage atmosphere and freezing on the survival of naturally occurring Campylobacter on raw poultry. Broiler carcasses (n = 560) were collected as they exited the chiller in 2 commercial processing plants and were sampled for the detection of Campylobacter, Escherichia coli, psychrophiles, and total aerobes at 0 and 14 d of refrigerated (2°C) storage. Gases evaluated were air, 100% O2, 100% CO2, and a standard poultry modified atmosphere packaging mixture (5% O2 + 10% CO2 + 85% N). Freezing was included as a control group. All carcasses were sampled by the whole-carcass rinse method. The rinse fluid was recovered and pooled from 5 individual rinses, and serial dilutions were made for examination of Campylobacter (42°C, 48 h), E. coli (37°C, 24 h), psychrophiles (plate count agar, 4°C, 7d), and total aerobic bacterial populations (plate count agar, 37°C, 24 h). Campylobacter counts for all treatments were reduced during the 14-d storage period but the 100% O2 treatment caused a significantly (P < 0.05) greater reduction than the other gas treatments. For the psychrophiles, storage in air resulted in the greatest growth after 14 d, with reduced psychrophilic growth allowed by either O2 or the modified atmosphere packaging mixture (not different from each other). Of the treatments evaluated, CO2 allowed the least growth of psychrophiles. Proliferation of E. coli and aerobes was the greatest when packaged in air after 14 d, whereas CO2 packaging resulted in the least growth. These data suggest that storage under O2 may reduce Campylobacter recovery and slow psychrophile and aerobe recovery following storage.
J. A. Byrd , A. R. Sams , B. M. Hargis , D. J. Caldwell
Campylobacter , Escherichia coli , aerobes , air , bacterial contamination , carbon dioxide , chicken carcasses , chicken meat , controlled atmosphere storage , food contamination , freezing , microbial growth , modified atmosphere packaging , nitrogen , oxygen , pathogen survival , poultry , psychrophilic bacteria , raw meat , storage time
Poultry science 2011 v.90
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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