Poultry remains one of the top food commodities responsible for foodborne illness in the U.S., despite poultry industry efforts since the inception of HACCP to reduce the burden of foodborne illness implicating poultry products. The appropriate use of antimicrobial compounds during processing of raw poultry can help minimize this risk. Currently, peroxyacetic acid (PAA) is the most popular antimicrobial in the poultry industry, displacing chlorine compounds and others. The aim of this review was to compare the effectiveness of PAA to that of other antimicrobials for the decontamination of raw poultry carcasses and parts. Twenty-six articles were found that compared PAA to over 20 different antimicrobials, applied as spray or immersion treatments for different exposure times and concentrations. The most common comparisons were to chlorine compounds (17 articles), to lactic acid (LA) compounds (5 articles) and to cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC, 6 articles). Studies measured effectiveness by reductions in native flora or inoculated bacteria, usually Salmonella or Campylobacter . PAA was found to be more effective than chlorine under most conditions studied. Effectiveness of PAA was higher or comparable to that of LA and CPC depending on product and treatment conditions. Overall, the results of primary literature studies support the popularity of PAA as an effective intervention against pathogenic bacteria during poultry processing.

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