The Contribution of Airborne Contamination to Campylobacter Counts on Defeathered Broiler Carcasses
Journal of Applied Poultry Research
The enteric pathogen Campylobacter can be carried into poultry processing facilities on and within live birds. Numbers of Campylobacter recovered from carcasses decrease after scalding but increase during feather removal. Mechanical feather picking causes mist as well as particles of dust, feathers, feces, and other matter to become airborne around the machine. This study was conducted to determine if Campylobacter associated with broilers during defeathering can become airborne and contaminate
... other carcasses in or around a commercial defeathering machine. Carcasses with low numbers of Campylobacter were hung near an operating commercial feather picker where they were exposed to airborne contaminants for 1 min. Low numbers of Campylobacter were detected in the air near the picker. However, microbiological culture of carcasses after exposure to airborne contamination in the picker room revealed that they had no more Campylobacter than unexposed carcasses. These data suggest that airborne contamination does not contribute to the high numbers of Campylobacter routinely found on defeathered carcasses.