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Application of peracetic acid in chicken carcasses to reduce cross-contamination

 

The poultry industry uses several strategies during poultry processing to increase the safety and shelf life of fresh products. One possible intervention is the application of peracetic acid (PAA) on carcasses by spraying or immersion. A Brazilian study published in the Journal of Food Safety aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial action of PAA and its capacity to prevent cross-contamination when applied on chicken carcasses. 

First, the method of PAA application that achieved the greatest reduction against a Salmonella cocktail artificially inoculated into chicken carcasses and against naturally present microorganisms was determined. They used the maximum concentration allowed in the United States (0.02% PAA) determining that immersion method was more effective than spray. Next, the reduction of the same microorganisms was evaluated by immersing carcasses in 0.07% PAA. This concentration was defined in a previous study as the most effective post-chiller without causing changes in quality. Finally, the reduction of cross-contamination between 4 carcasses consecutively immersed in 0.07% PAA was investigated. The immersion in 0.07% PAA was able to reduce ~2.0 log CFU/ml of aerobic bacteria and Salmonella, and~1.5 log CFU/ml of Enterobacteriaceae and Escherichia coli.

The results of the cross-contamination test suggest that rinse water containing 0.07% PAA could reduce contamination between carcasses and in the post-chiller tank water. Therefore, 0.07% PAA showed potential to contribute to the safety and increased shelf life of chicken carcasses. 

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