Facing new pathogen reduction standards from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, poultry processors are trying new or additional pathogen intervention strategies, according to a survey conducted at Auburn University.

Speaking at the Salmonella and Campylobacter Reduction Conference, Dr. Shelly McKee told the audience at the International Poultry Expo in Atlanta that there has been a significant increase in the number of U.S. poultry processing facilities using dip tanks, finishing chillers and post-chiller antimicrobial interventions. The results of the survey, which included 167 U.S. poultry processing plants, also indicated that campylobacter may not be effectively controlled with current interventions.
Poultry processors reported that multi-hurdle approaches and biomapping are important to pathogen control.


Other significant findings included the following:

  • There has been an increase in the use of peracetic acid and cetylpyridium.
  • When using chlorine, pH needs to be 5.5-6.0 to be effective.
  • Acids are good in finishing chiller at pH 1.5-1.7.
  • CPC and peracetic acid are very effective, but CPC is expensive.
  • Bromine is effective but expensive.
  • Chlorine dioxide gave inconsistent results, and chlorine with pH control is an effective alternative.
  • TSP raises chiller pH, is good against E. coli, but phosphates in wastewater are a concern.
  • Acids in drinking water of poultry used two to three weeks prior to processing effective in reducing bacteria loads.