News 1151 views update:Mar 9, 2016

Keep poultry processing free from Salmonella

A major place where cross contamination of poultry products can easily take place is in the processing plant. It is of great importance to minimise such microbial contamination, especially in relation to any foodborne pathogens, such as Salmonella.

Processing of Salmonella-positive flocks
The Salmonella status of broiler flocks should be monitored from an early stage .  If nonetheless Salmonella is found, positive flocks should be processed separately, usually at the end of the shift. The equipment and the processing environment are then cleaned and suitably sanitised before the next flock is processed.

Control of Salmonella contamination
Because of the nature of the process and the high speed at which finished carcasses are often produced, it is not possible to entirely prevent the spread of any salmonellas that may be introduced by in-coming birds.  Cross-contamination of carcasses can occur via contaminated equipment . Some equipment is prone to harbouring salmonellas eg  defeathering machines. This requires special attention in cleaning and disinfection. Also process water, aerosols and the hands of personnel are important sources. 

Product contamination can be minimised by the application of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles, in conjunction with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and use of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for plant cleaning and disinfection. These systems involve appropriate training and supervision of staff.

When processing is properly controlled, any contamination of the end-product with Salmonella is usually at a very low level and consistent with the requirements for a safe, acceptable, raw-meat product.

Source: Merck Animal Health

World Poultry

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