The microbiological quality of 745 conventionally processed and 745 reprocessed broiler carcasses was determined. Carcasses were taken from the processing line prior to entering the chiller in five commercial processing plants. Each plant was sampled twice during the winter, spring, and summer. Analyses included aerobic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, and Escherichia coli counts plus qualitative Salmonella (SAL) prevalence. Differences between overall mean log10 counts for aerobic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, and E. coli were not significant. The prevalence of SAL detected on conventionally processed and reprocessed carcasses also was not significantly different. Some variation was observed in microbiological quality of carcasses among processing plants. Although the SAL prevalence appeared to decline from winter to summer replications, no significant trend could be demonstrated. Continuation of the practice of reprocessing carcasses appears justified.

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