Understanding mechanisms of cross-contamination during poultry processing is vital for effective pathogen control. As an initial step toward this goal, we develop a mathematical model of the chilling process in a typical high speed Canadian processing plant. An important attribute of our model is that it provides quantifiable links between processing control parameters and microbial levels, simplifying the complexity of these relationships for implementation into risk assessment models. We apply our model to generic, non-pathogenic Escherichia coli contamination on broiler carcasses, connecting microbial control with chlorine sanitization, organic load in the water, and pre-chiller E. coli levels on broiler carcasses. In particular, our results suggest that while chlorine control is important for reducing E. coli levels during chilling, it plays a less significant role in the management of cross-contamination issues.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.