Reducing Campylobacter numbers on chicken carcasses using lactic acid in processing plants

Dean Burfoot*, Vivien Allen, Elizabeth Mulvey, Keith Jewell, Dawn Harrison, Victoria Morris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Four trials were carried out at a broiler processing plant to examine the effectiveness of spraying lactic acid solutions for reducing the numbers of Campylobacter on carcasses. The carcasses were naturally contaminated and treated after the inside-outside washer and before the air chiller. Carcasses were treated by spraying in a tunnel or with one of two hand-held sprayers. Carcasses were treated with a 1.9%, 4% or 8% solution of lactic acid buffered to pH 4 using sodium lactate, and testing was carried out on skin samples from the breast or back/neck. Treating carcasses with 1.9% acid was not effective. Treatments with 4% acid reduced the numbers of Campylobacter on breast skin by 0.4 log10 cfu g-1 or less and on back/neck skin by 0.8 log10 cfu g-1. Spraying with an 8% acid solution in the tunnel produced a 1.9-log cfu g-1 reduction on breast skin but adversely affected the appearance of the carcasses. Further work is suggested with a 5% solution with consumer testing for acceptability of appearance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2451-2457
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Food Science and Technology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015


  • Campylobacter
  • Chicken
  • Decontamination
  • Lactic acid

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