How to reduce bacteria during poultry processing
Key points from harvesting to chilling can minimize bacterial contamination of processed chickens.
Processed chicken must be produced in hygienic conditions, and microbial contamination kept to a minimum in order for it to be safe for consumers to eat and also have a good shelf life.
Read the entire report about how to reduce bacteria during poultry processing exclusively in the November issue of Poultry International.
Various operations, starting with pre-slaughter, need to be closely monitored in real time to ensure that birds are kept clean. It is worth remembering that pre-slaughter and processing are highly linked, meaning that broilers must be as clean as possible on arrival at the processing plant if hygiene standards are to be maintained throughout processing.
These operations include feed withdrawal, capture and caging, transport and lairage, scalding, plucking and evisceration.
During withdrawal, feeders should be kept at their normal height until the capture team arrives. The house temperature also needs to be closely monitored during feed withdrawal, especially in open houses.
Many companies operating in hot countries spray birds with water after they are loaded onto the trucks, prior to leaving the farm. This has the double benefit of not only removing fecal matter from them and the cages, but also of refreshing the birds prior to travel to the processing plant.
During transport, birds will again defecate, and so the process of contamination continues. As at the farm, some processing plants wash the birds with water and disinfectant once trucks have been weighed to remove the organic load and bacteria.