Invited Speaker Australian Society for Microbiology Annual Scientific Meeting 2018

Survival of Campylobacter through poultry processing (#108)

Lesley Duffy

Poultry products are frequently identified as a source of campylobacteriosis in Australia and across the European Union. The slaughter and processing of poultry contains a number of stages that can alter the numbers of Campylobacter. The processing stages of scalding, where poultry carcases are heated to temperatures between 53 °C - 58 °C for 2 – 3 min, and immersion chilling in chlorinated water, are key steps that may lower the numbers and/or prevalence of Campylobacter on chicken carcasses. The Weibull model is a useful tool for comparing the effectiveness of processing parameters on the inactivation of Campylobacter. A total of 32 isolates/strains were heated at 53 and 57 °C for 5 min and subjected to 1.10 ppm chlorine (pH 6.50) for 20 min.  At lower scalding temperatures C. coli was found to be more heat resistant than C. jejuni, but not at 57 °C. Overall the Campylobacter isolates/strains used in this study demonstrate no unusual heat resistance although the development of a heat resistant sub-population at 57 °C should be further investigated. The isolates/strains used demonstrated a range of survival when subjected to chlorine.  It is important for the poultry industry to understand the variation that may exist in Campylobacter strains within their flocks when subjected to the normal range of processing practices of scalding and immersion chilling in order to refine processes such that they effectively reduce viable Campylobacter.