Surface-browned but uncooked frozen breaded chicken products have been associated with salmonellosis outbreaks due to inadequate or no cooking of the products before consumption. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of three antimicrobials against Salmonella during manufacture of a surface-browned, uncooked frozen breaded chicken meat product. Fresh chicken breast meat portions (5 by 5 by 5 cm) were inoculated (4 to 5 log CFU/g) with Salmonella and mixed with caprylic acid (CAA; 0.5 and 1.0%), carvacrol (CAR; 0.3 and 0.5%), ɛ-polylysine (POL; 0.125 and 0.25%), or distilled water (control). Sodium chloride (1.2%) and sodium tripolyphosphate (0.3%) were added to all treatments, and the mixtures were ground (5%total moisture enhancement level) and formed into portions (9 by 5 by 3 cm). The products were breaded and surface browned by baking in an oven (208°C for 15 min) or deep frying in vegetable oil (190°C for 15 s), packaged in polyethylene bags, and stored at −20°C for 7 days. Total reductions of inoculated Salmonella in untreated control oven- or fryer-browned products after frozen storage were 1.2 and 0.8 log CFU/g, respectively. In comparison, treatment with CAA, CAR, or POL reduced initial pathogen counts by 3.3 to >4.5, 4.1 to >4.7, and 1.1 to 1.6 log CFU/g, respectively, regardless of the antimicrobial concentration and browning method. Treatment with 1.0%CAA (oven browned) or 0.5%CAR (oven or fryer browned) reduced Salmonella to nondetectable levels (<0.3 log CFU/g) in stored frozen products. These data may be useful for development of suitable antimicrobial treatments to reduce the risk of Salmonella contamination in surface-browned, uncooked frozen breaded chicken products.

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