Numerous antimicrobial chemicals are currently utilized as processing aids with the aim of reducing pathogenic bacteria on processed poultry carcasses. Carryover of active sanitizer to a carcass rinse solution intended for recovery of viable pathogenic bacteria by regulatory agencies may cause false-negative results. This study was conducted to document the potential carryover effect of five sanitizing chemicals commonly used as poultry processing aids for broilers in a postchill dip. The effect of postdip drip time on the volume of sanitizer solution carryover was first determined by regression of data obtained from 10 carcasses. The five sanitizer solutions were diluted with buffered peptone water at 0-, 1-, and 5-min drip time equivalent volumes as determined by the regression analysis. These solutions were then spiked to 105 CFU/ml with a mixture of five nalidixic acid-resistant Salmonella enterica serovars, stored at 4°C for 24 h, and finally enumerated by plate count on brilliant green sulfa agar containing nalidixic acid. At the 0- and 1-min drip time equivalents, no Salmonella recovery was observed in three of the five sanitizers studied. At the 5-min drip time equivalent, one of these sanitizers still exhibited significant (P ≤ 0.05) bactericidal activity. These findings potentially indicate that the currently utilized protocol for the recovery of Salmonella bacteria from postchill sanitizer interventions may lead to false-negative results due to sanitizer carryover into the carcass rinsate.

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