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Int J Food Microbiol. 2011 Oct 17;150(1):8-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2011.07.007. Epub 2011 Jul 8.

Factors associated with carcass contamination by Campylobacter at slaughterhouse in cecal-carrier broilers.

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1
Biologie, épidémiologie et analyse des risques, Nantes, France. xavier.malher@oniris-nantes.fr

Abstract

A study was conducted in 2009 to identify risk factors of Campylobacter spp. transmission from the digestive tract to the carcasses of standard broilers (slaughter age: 37 day, carcass weight: 1.3 kg on average). Counts of Campylobacter were performed on pools of 10 ceca and 10 neck-skins from 108 Campylobacter ceca-positive batches in three slaughterhouses. Technical and health data also was collected on the broilers: age, size, carcass weight (mean and standard deviation), condemnation rate, mortality rate and nature of treatment during the rearing period. Cecal counts varied from 4.8 to 10.2 log(10) cfu/g. In seventeen batches (15.7%), the skin count was below the detection limit. In the 91 batches with positive neck-skin test results, the counts varied from 2.0 to 5.2 log(10) cfu/g. Standard deviation of carcass weight, condemnation rate, slaughter rate and cecal count were significantly lower and growth rate higher in the 17 batches where neck-skin results were not detected positive. Multivariate analysis showed that batches with higher standard deviation of carcass weight were 5 to 9 fold more at risk of having detectable carcass contamination. Among the 91 positive neck-skin batches, only slaughter rate and cecal counts were found to have a significant but limited effect on the level of neck-skin contamination. As far as body weight homogeneity may be affected by disease, better health control can contribute to a reduction of the contamination of the broiler carcasses in Campylobacter carrier batches.

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