Processing practices contributing to Campylobacter contamination in Belgian chicken meat preparations.Int J Food Microbiol. 2008 Dec 10; 128(2):297-303.IJ
The aim of this study was to obtain insight into processing practices in the poultry sector contributing to the variability in Campylobacter contamination in Belgian chicken meat preparations. This was achieved by company profiling of eleven food business operators, in order to evaluate variation of processing management, in addition to statistical modelling of microbiological testing results for Campylobacter spp. contamination in 656 end product samples. Almost half (48%) of chicken meat preparation samples were positive for Campylobacter spp. Results revealed a statistically significant variation in Campylobacter contamination between 11 chicken meat producers across Belgium at both quantitative and qualitative detection levels. All producers provided Campylobacter-positive samples, but prevalence ranged from 9% up to 85% at single producer level. The presence or addition of skin during production of chicken meat preparations resulted in almost 2.2-fold increase in the probability of a sample being positive for Campylobacter, while chicken meat preparations made from frozen meat, or partly containing pre-frozen meat, had a significant (Odds Ratio=0.41; CI 95% 0.18:0.98) lower probability of being positive for Campylobacter. However, the quantitative results indicated that the positive freezing effect on Campylobacter count was compromised by the presence and/or adding of skin.