Poultry processing and the application of microbiome mapping.

Affiliation

Center for Food Safety, Department of Food Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72704. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Chicken is globally one of the most popular food animals. However, it is also one of the major reservoirs for foodborne pathogens, annually resulting in continued morbidity and mortality incidences worldwide. In an effort to reduce the threat of foodborne disease, the poultry industry has implemented a multifaceted antimicrobial program that incorporates not only chemical compounds, but also extensive amounts of water application and pathogen monitoring. Unfortunately, the pathogen detection methods currently used by the poultry industry lack speed, relying on microbiological plate methods and molecular detection systems that take time and lack precision. In many cases, the time to data acquisition can take 12 to 24 h. This is problematic if shorter-term answers are required which is becoming more likely as the public demand for chicken meat is only increasing, leading to new pressures to increase line speed. Therefore, new innovations in detection methods must occur to mitigate the risk of foodborne pathogens that could result from faster slaughter and processing speeds. Future technology will have 2 tracks: rapid methods that are meant to detect pathogens and indicator organisms within a few hours, and long-term methods that use microbiome mapping to evaluate sanitation and antimicrobial efficacy. Together, these methods will provide rapid, comprehensive data capable of being applied in both risk-assessment algorithms and used by management to safeguard the public.

Keywords

bioinformatics,foodborne pathogens,microbiome mapping,poultry processing,rapid methods,

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