Electrical stimulation was investigated as a method to eliminate or reduce the number of Salmonella typhimurium attached to chicken legs. Salmonellae-inoculated legs were attached to either cathode or anode or placed in an electrical field. In addition, the effect of electrical stimulation on various bacteria in an electrolyte solution was studied in order to determine the feasibility of using this method to prevent cross-contamination of poultry carcasses during processing. Stimulation was accomplished using a square wave with an amplitude of 8.5 to 14.5 volts, a frequency of 0.33 Hz or 100 KHz, and a duty cycle of 67%. Results indicate that electrical stimulation is effective in killing bacteria in solution and in reducing the number of salmonellae attached to chicken legs when legs are attached to anodes. Slight meat damage did occur, however, when chicken legs were connected to either anode or cathode1.z

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Author notes

1This study has resulted in a U. S. patent application.