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J Food Prot. 2010 May;73(5):976-80.

Comparison of neck skin excision and whole carcass rinse sampling methods for microbiological evaluation of broiler carcasses before and after immersion chilling.

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  • 1U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Russell Research Center, Athens, Georgia 30605, USA.


Sampling protocols for detecting Salmonella on poultry differ among various countries. In the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service dictates that whole broiler carcasses should be rinsed with 400 ml of 1% buffered peptone water, whereas in the European Union 25-g samples composed of neck skin from three carcasses are evaluated. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a whole carcass rinse (WCR) and a neck skin excision (NS) procedure for Salmonella and Escherichia coli isolation from the same broiler carcass. Carcasses were obtained from three broiler processing plants. The skin around the neck area was aseptically removed and bagged separately from the carcass, and microbiological analysis was performed. The corresponding carcass was bagged and a WCR sample was evaluated. No significant difference (alpha </= 0.05) in Salmonella prevalence was found between the samples processed by the two methods, but both procedures produced many false-negative Salmonella results. Prechill, 37% (66 carcasses), 28% (50 carcasses), and 51% (91 carcasses) of the 180 carcasses examined were positive for Salmonella by WCR, NS, and both procedures combined, respectively. Postchill, 3% (5 carcasses), 7% (12 carcasses), and 10% (17 carcasses) of the 177 carcasses examined were positive for Salmonella by the WCR, NS, and combination of both procedures, respectively. Prechill, E. coli plus coliform counts were 3.0 and 2.6 log CFU/ml by the WCR and NS methods, respectively. Postchill, E. coli plus coliform counts were 1.7 and 1.4 log CFU/ml by the WCR and NS methods, respectively.

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