The poultry processing industry has been undergoing a series of changes as it modifies processing practices to comply with new performance standards for chicken parts and comminuted poultry products. The regulatory approach encourages the use of intervention strategies to prevent and control foodborne pathogens in poultry products and thus improve food safety and protect human health. The present studies were conducted to evaluate the efficacy of antimicrobial interventions for reducing Salmonella on inoculated chicken parts under simulated commercial processing conditions. Chicken pieces were inoculated by immersion in a five-strain Salmonella cocktail at 6 log CFU/mL and then treated with organic acids and oxidizing agents on a commercial rinsing conveyor belt. The efficacy of spraying with six different treatments (sterile water, lactic acid, acetic acid, buffered lactic acid, acetic acid in combination with lactic acid, and peracetic acid) at two concentrations was evaluated on skin-on and skin-off chicken thighs at three application temperatures. Skinless chicken breasts were used to evaluate the antimicrobial efficacy of lactic acid and peracetic acid. The color stability of treated and untreated chicken parts was assessed after the acid interventions. The lactic acid and buffered lactic acid treatments produced the greatest reductions in Salmonella counts. Significant differences between the control and water treatments were identified for 5.11% lactic acid and 5.85% buffered lactic acid in both skin-on and skin-off chicken thighs. No significant effect of treatment temperature for skin-on chicken thighs was found. Lactic acid and peracetic acid were effective agents for eluting Salmonella cells attached to chicken breasts.
Keywords: Chicken parts; Interventions; Organic acids; Salmonella.