Microbiological quality assessment and validation of antimicrobials against unstressed or cold-stress adaptedSalmonellaand surrogateEnterococcus faeciumon broiler carcasses and wings

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This study aims to evaluate the microbiological quality and efficacy of antimicrobials to inactivate unstressed or cold-stress adapted Salmonella and Enterococcus on broiler carcasses and wings processed at a small USDA-inspected slaughter facility in West Virginia. The first part of the study included 42 carcasses that were pre- and secondarily-enriched in bacterial media followed by streak-plating onto XLT-4 and HardyCHROM™-agar Salmonella and confirmation using an API20E-kit. The aerobic plate counts (APC), Escherichia coli (ECC), total coliforms (TCC), and yeast/molds were analyzed on petri-films. The second part of the study included fresh broiler carcasses and wings that were inoculated with unstressed and cold-stress-adapted (4 °C, 7-day) Salmonella Typhimurium and Tennessee, and Enterococcus faecium ATCC 8459 (5.5 to 6.0 log10CFU/mL) and later dipped into peroxyacetic acid (PAA; 1,000 ppm), lactic acid (LA; 5%), lactic and citric acid blend (LCA; 2.5%), and sodium hypochlorite (SH; 70 ppm) for 30 s without (carcasses) or with 2-min drainage (wings). The surviving bacteria were recovered onto non-selective and selective agar to analyze the total microbial population, Salmonella and Enterococcus. APC, TCC, and Yeast/Molds were 2.62, 1.08, and 2.37 log10CFU/mL on broiler carcasses, respectively. A total of 30 and 40% of the carcasses tested positive for Salmonella spp. and E. coli (0.48 to 1.70 log10CFU/mL), respectively. For carcasses, antimicrobial reductions of cold-stress-adapted cells of Salmonella and Enterococcus were greater (P < 0.05) than the unstressed cells. For wings, cold-stress-adapted Salmonella were more (P < 0.05) sensitive to antimicrobials than unstressed cells; however, unstressed and cold-stress-adapted Enterococcus behaved similarly (P > 0.05). The reduction of Salmonella and Enterococcus on carcasses and wings increased in the order of SH ≤ LCA < LA < PAA and irrespective of unstressed or cold-stress-adapted cells. Applying post-chilling antimicrobial dipping treatments could be an intervention approach to control Salmonella on locally processed broilers. In addition, Enterococcus faecium could be a Salmonella surrogate for in-plant validation studies.

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