Treatment with a low pH processing aid to reduceCampylobactercounts on broiler parts
New regulations and performance standards for Campylobacter have been implemented by the USDA - Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The objective of this study was to evaluate treatment with a low pH processing aid (CMS1 PoultrypHresh), a formulated low pH processing aid, to reduce numbers of Campylobacter which could help companies meet regulatory requirements. Two experiments (3 replicates each) were conducted. Experiment 1, in each of 3 replicates, skin-on split chicken breasts (n = 15) were obtained from a local grocery and divided into groups of 5. The skin of each part was inoculated with approximately 107 cells of a gentamicin resistant C. coli (CCGR) marker strain in an area of approximately 6.5 cm2. CCGR cells were allowed to attach for 5 min prior to treatment. Ten inoculated breasts were individually placed into separate 6 L plastic storage boxes containing either 3.5 L deionized water or PoultrypHresh solution at a pH of 1.4. Parts were subjected to agitation (bubbled air) for 25 s. After treatment, each part was removed, allowed to drain for 5 s, and placed into a plastic bag prior to mechanical rinsing with 150 mL of buffered peptone water for 60 s. Five inoculated breasts served as controls, were untreated with a dip or agitation and sampled as above. Experiment 2 procedures were repeated using skin-on thighs under the same conditions. Rinsates were collected from each chicken part, serially diluted, and plated onto Campy Cefex agar with 200 ppm gentamicin (CCGen). All plates were incubated microaerobically (5% O2, 10% CO2, 85% N2) for 48 h at 42°C, colonies were counted and the cfu/mL was log transformed. The use of PoultrypHresh on split breast produced a 99.6% reduction compared to untreated controls, while thighs showed a 99.4% reduction. This study demonstrated an approximate 3 log reduction (P < 0.05) using a 25 s air agitation treatment in PoultrypHresh at pH 1.4 with no observable damage, which will help processors meet FSIS regulations.