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Int J Food Microbiol. 2008 Sep 30;127(1-2):116-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2008.06.018. Epub 2008 Jun 24.

The effects of Campylobacter numbers in caeca on the contamination of broiler carcasses with Campylobacter.

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Institute of Food Quality and Food Safety, University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover, Foundation, Bischofsholer Damm 15, D-30173 Hanover, Germany.


For the presence and number of Campylobacter, 18 broiler flocks were sampled over a period of 18 months. A total of 70% of the flocks were positive for Campylobacter, with higher prevalence found in summer and autumn, compared to winter and spring. Positive flocks showed contamination rates above 90%, in negative flocks this was lower, mostly below 50%. The enumeration showed a decrease in Campylobacter during processing of positive flocks. The numbers were highest in carcasses after scalding/defeathering (mean 5.9 log10 cfu/carcass) and dropped by 0.7 log10 cfu/carcass after chilling. A positive correlation was observed between the number of Campylobacter present in the caeca and the number of bacteria present on carcasses and cut products. When a negative flock was slaughtered after Campylobacter positive flocks, the number of positive samples was higher compared to the case when a negative flock had been slaughtered previously. C. jejuni was isolated from 73.6% of the poultry samples.

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