Changes of the bacterial community diversity on chicken carcasses through an Australian poultry processing line
Chen, SH and Fegan, N and Kocharunchitt, C and Bowman, JP and Duffy, LL, Changes of the bacterial community diversity on chicken carcasses through an Australian poultry processing line, Food Microbiology, 86 Article 103350. ISSN 0740-0020 (2020) [Refereed Article]
Understanding the bacterial community profile through poultry processing could help the industry to produce better poultry products. In this study, 10 chicken carcasses were randomly sampled from before and after scalding, before and after immersion chilling, and after air chilling each through a modern commercial processing line, along with the contents of 10 caeca. The sampled processing line effectively reduced the bacterial counts by > 4.6 Log10 CFU/ml for each of Total Viable Counts, Escherichia coli and Campylobacter. However, the metagenomics results suggested that Lactobacillus, Staphylococcus and unclassified Lachnospiraceae persisted at all sampling stages. Pseudomonas, Paeniglutamicibacter, Chryseobacterium and Pseudarthrobacter comprised 47.2% in the bacterial community on samples after air chilling compared to 0.3% on samples after immersion chilling, whereas TVCs were the same. Overall, the current interventions of the investigated poultry processing line were unable to eliminate persistence of certain foodborne pathogens, despite a significant reduction of the overall bacterial counts. Chilling is an important controlling point in contamination/cross-contamination, particularly extended air chilling. Lastly, the large presence of Pseudomonas on chickens after air chilling may lead to downstream spoilage related issues, which needs more investigation to explore quantitatively the effect on the shelf life of poultry products.