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Int J Food Microbiol. 2013 Sep 2;166(2):309-15. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2013.07.005. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

An investigation of the immediate and storage effects of chemical treatments on Campylobacter and sensory characteristics of poultry meat.

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Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin, Ireland.


Campylobacteriosis is the most common foodborne bacterial infection in developed countries and many cases are associated with poultry. This study investigated the immediate and storage effect of dipping inoculated poultry skin samples in trisodium phosphate (TSP, 10 & 14%, w/v), lactic acid (LA, 1 & 5%, v/v), citric acid (CA, 1 & 5%, w/v), peroxyacids (POA, 100 & 200 ppm) and acidified sodium chlorite (ASC, 500 & 1200 ppm). Spray application was also tested using the higher concentrations in the laboratory. In a broiler processing plant the efficacy of using TSP (14%) and CA (5%) applied by immersion and spray was investigated using naturally contaminated carcasses and the effect of these treatments on the sensory attributes of a skin-on (drumstick) and skin-off (fillet) raw and cooked product was assessed using descriptive sensory analysis. In the laboratory, immersion in TSP (14%), LA (5%), CA (5%) and ASC (1200 ppm) significantly (P<0.05) reduced the Campylobacter counts and a 2.5 to 3 log10 cfu/cm(2) reduction was observed within the shelf-life (3-5 days) of poultry meat. Spraying was ineffective even after storage. In the broiler processing plant, immersion in TSP (14%) or CA (5%) achieved Campylobacter reductions of 2.49 and 1.44 log10 cfu/cm(2), respectively. There were no significant differences between the treatments for any of the attributes measured in either raw or cooked drumsticks. The 'colour' of raw chicken fillets treated with both TSP (14%, w/v) and CA (5%, w/v) was significantly (P≤0.05) lighter than that of control samples. The 'intensity of chicken odour' and the perception of 'salt' in cooked chicken fillets treated with CA (5%, w/v) were also significantly (P≤0.05) higher than that of either control or TSP (14%, w/v) treated samples. It was concluded that TSP (14%) or CA (5%) could be applied to significantly reduce Campylobacter contamination of broilers without adversely affecting the sensory quality of the product.


Campylobacter; Chemical decontamination; Poultry; Sensory analysis; ‘In-plant’ studies

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