Yeasts associated with broiler carcasses taken from various stages of commercial poultry processing operations and broiler carcasses stored at refrigerated temperatures were enumerated and identified. Whole carcass rinses were performed to recover yeasts from carcasses taken from a processing facility and processed carcasses stored at 4°C for up to 14 days. Yeasts in the carcass rinsates were enumerated on acidified potato dextrose agar and identified with the MIDI Sherlock Microbial Identification System. Dendrograms of fatty acid profiles of yeast were prepared to determine the degree of relatedness of the yeast isolates. Findings indicated that as the carcasses are moved through the processing line, significant decreases in the number of yeasts associated with broiler carcasses usually occur, and the composition of the yeast flora of the carcasses is altered. Significant (P < 0.05) increases in the yeast population of the carcasses generally occur during storage at 4°C, however. Furthermore, it was determined that the same strain of yeast may be recovered from different carcasses at different points in the processing line and that the same strain of yeast may be isolated from carcasses processed on different days in the same processing facility.

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