Monochloramine versus sodium hypochlorite as antimicrobial agents for reducing populations of bacteria on broiler chicken carcasses

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Courtesy of Zentox Corporation

Studies were conducted to compare the effect of sodium hypochlorite (SH) versus monochloramine (MON) on bacterial populations associated with broiler chicken carcasses. In study 1, nominal populations (6.5 to 7.5 log CFU) of Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Salmonella serovars, Shewanella putrefaciens, and Staphylococcus aureus were exposed to sterilized chiller water (controls) or sterilized chiller water containing 50 ppm SH or MON. SH at 50 ppm eliminated all (6.5 to 7.5 log CFU) viable E. coli, L. monocytogenes, and Salmonella serovars; 1.2 log CFU of P. fluorescens; and 5.5 log CFU of S. putrefaciens. MON eliminated all (6.5 to 7.5 log CFU) viable E. coli, L. monocytogenes, S. putrefaciens, and Salmonella serovars and 4.2 log CFU of P. fluorescens. In study 2, chicken carcasses were inoculated with P. fluorescens or nalidixic acid–resistant Salmonella serovars or were temperature abused at 258C for 2 h to increase the populations of naturally occurring E. coli. The groups of Salmonella serovar–inoculated or temperature-abused E. coli carcasses were immersed separately in pilot-scale poultry chillers and exposed to tap water (controls) or tap water containing 20 ppm SH or 20 ppm MON for 1 h. The P. fluorescens–inoculated group was immersed in pilot-scale poultry chillers and exposed to tap water (controls) or tap water containing 50 ppm SH or 50 ppm MON for 1 h. Carcasses exposed to the SH treatment had nominal increases (0.22 log CFU) in E. coli counts compared with controls, whereas exposure to MON resulted in a 0.89- log reduction. Similarly, average nalidixic acid–resistant Salmonella serovar counts increased nominally by 34% (41 to 55 CFU/ml) compared with controls on carcasses exposed to SH, whereas exposure to MON resulted in an average nominal decrease of 80% (41 to 8 CFU/ml). P. fluorescens decreased by 0.64 log CFU on carcasses exposed to SH and decreased by 0.87 log CFU on carcasses exposed to MON. In study 3, SH or MON was applied to the chiller in a commercial poultry processing facility. E. coli counts (for carcass halves emerging from both saddle and front-half chillers) and Salmonella prevalence were evaluated. Data from carcasses exposed to SH during an 84-day historical (Hist) and a 9-day prepilot (Pre) period were evaluated. Other carcasses were exposed to MON and tested during a 27-day period (Test). E. coli counts for samples collected from the saddle chiller were 25.7, 25.2, and 8.6 CFU/ml for Hist, Pre, and Test, respectively. E. coli counts for samples collected from the front-half chiller were 6.7, 6.9, and 2.5 CFU/ml for Hist, Pre, and Test, respectively. Salmonella prevalence was reduced from 8.7% (Hist 1 Pre) to 4% (Test). These studies indicate that MON is superior to SH in reducing microbial populations in poultry chiller water.

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