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Lett Appl Microbiol. 2009 Jun;48(6):687-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-765X.2009.02596.x. Epub 2009 Mar 30.

Survival of Salmonella on refrigerated chicken carcasses and subsequent transfer to cutting board.

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1
Facultad de Ingeniería Química, Instituto de Tecnología de Alimentos, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Santa Fe, Argentina. sjimenez@fiq.unl.edu.ar

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the effect of refrigeration time and temperature on Salmonella cell numbers on inoculated chicken carcasses and their transfer to a plastic cutting board.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

The survival of Salmonella on chicken skin and the transfer to a plastic cutting board when exposed to different refrigeration temperatures (2, 6 or 8 degrees C) for 9 days were the two main issues on which this work focused. Two scenarios were carried out to ascertain these effects: carcasses treated with a decontaminating acetic acid solution and untreated carcasses. All of the contaminated carcasses remained contaminated after 9 days of refrigeration. However, on untreated samples, while Salmonella numbers increased almost 1.5 log at 8 degrees C, the pathogen numbers decreased about 1 log at 2 and 6 degrees C. On acid-treated samples, cell numbers slightly decreased at all of the temperatures studied. Temperature did not affect salmonellae transfer to the cutting board, but time did. Acid decontamination increased cell numbers transferred to the cutting board compared with untreated samples.

CONCLUSION:

Proper refrigeration at low temperatures did not allow Salmonella numbers to rise, regardless of which carcasses had been, or had not been, acid treated. Despite the fact that the rate of transfer was not affected by temperature, the acid treatment detached Salmonella cells from the chicken skin and, therefore, the probability of greater cross-contamination should be studied further.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

The results of this study may provide better information about the refrigeration conditions for fresh chicken storage and also determine if these, along with acetic acid decontamination of broiler chicken, would affect the pathogen transfer to a cutting board.

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