Healthy chickens (poultry) ready for processing harbor a tremendous amount and variety of bacteria. These bacteria are present on the surfaces of feet, feathers, skin and also in the intestines. During processing, a high proportion of these organisms will be removed, but further contamination can occur at any stage of the processing operation.
The procedure for converting a live, healthy bird into a safe and wholesome poultry product provides many opportunities for micro-organisms to colonize on the surface of the carcass. During processing, opportunities exist for the contamination of the carcasses from the environment; the process in the plant itself; contamination via knives, equipment, the hands of workers; and also by cross-contamination from carcass to carcass. Some processing operations encourage an increase of contamination or even multiplication of contaminating organisms. As a result, the microbial population changes from mainly gram-positive rods and micrococci on the outside of the live chicken to gram-negative micro-organisms on the finished product.
Control of microbial contamination more difficult
Poultry processing has a number of unique features which make control of microbial contamination more difficult than the processing of any other conventional meat animal. Among them is the rapid rate of processing in some processing plants, a condition which favors the spread of micro-organisms. The carcass must be kept whole throughout the process and the insides have to be removed rapidly through a small opening in the abdomen without breakage, to minimize contamination of the carcass with intestinal organisms. Studies have confirmed that poultry is a comillon vehicle for food-borne illness, and efforts should be made to prevent the build-up of contamination peaks during process ing. Rinsing of the carcass especially during defeathering and “gutting” is therefore of great importance.
The natural solution
Independent studies have proven that Radical Waters’ natural ECA sanitation solutions can safely be dosed into processing water or added to the final dip or spray before packaging. ECA solutions are safe on all food, fast in eliminating pathogens and spoilage organisms on poultry and equipment, and effective as a shelf life extender. Radical Waters’ is approved by both the Beth Din (Kosher) and SANHA (halaal) for use within these processing environments.