Campylobacter on chicken broilers

Campylobacter continues to be the most commonly reported gastrointestinal bacterial pathogen in humans in the EU and has been so since 2005. Whereas Salmonella is the second most common cause of foodborne diseases. The number of reported confirmed cases of human campylobacteriosis was 236,851 with an EU notification rate of 71.0 per 100,000 population, a 9.6% increase compared with the rate in 2013.

Especially poultry with Campylobacter levels above 1,000 cfu/g has been target by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to make up the highest risk to consumers.

In the United Kingdom the Food Standard Agency, FSA and the poultry sector has since February 2014 worked together to reduce the level of Campylobacter and especially the percentage of broilers with higher than 1,000 cfu/g. The percentage of high risk poultry offered to consumers from each retailer has been announced quarterly on the FSA homepage.

– UK Survey of Campylobacter contamination in fresh retail chicken from Jul – Sept 2015

The ameliorating effect of SonoSteam is well documented through several studies and SonoSteam has the potential to create great log reductions. However, when treating food surfaces one has to find the optimal balance between achieving the best log reduction and avoiding visible skin changes. Our product, the IA Poultry, has successfully been developed to perform this delicate balance and SonoSteam has been part of the effort to reduce Campylobacter exposure to the UK customers. Our equipment is currently installed at four locations in the UK and each equipment is treating nearly one million broilers every week.

The data continue to show an improvement from the previous year. Interventions, including improved biosecurity, SonoSteam, and the trimming of neck skins, introduced by some retailers to reduce levels of campylobacter, may be helping to deliver the improved results.

Chicken broiler

In June 2015 Faccenda Food System was the first slaughter house in UK to introduce SonoSteam in full production on one of two production lines. The second line followed June 2016. Cargill installed their first SonoSteam system at Hereford in November 2015 and the second in May 2016.

Cargill’s announcement when they introduced SonoSteam technology as part of farm-to-fork commitment to reduce Campylobacter levels.

Chris Hall, Fresh Chicken Director for Cargill Meats Europe, said Cargill takes its responsibility for food safety very seriously …. We have been following the development of new technologies very closely and made the commitment that we would adopt one as soon as it proved effective. We are very excited to be taking these next steps with FORCE Technology.

Faccenda supplies around half of the poultry to retailer ASDA and the percentage above 1,000 cfu/g has dropped from initial 31% in the period between February 2014 and February 2015 to 11% in October-December 2015.

– UK Survey of Campylobacter contamination in fresh retail chicken from Oct – Dec 2015

Retailer Morrisons, has now nearly all their birds processed by SonoSteam and delivered from Cargill. Comparing the July-September 2015 FSA survey with the latest published survey from the FSA in October-December, it shows a drop from 25% to 5%, and positioning Morrisons as the retailer in UK with the lowest amount above 1,000 cfu/g.

Feel free to send me a message if you have something on your mind.

Hanieh S. Musavian
Hanieh S. MusavianMSc in Engineering, Biotechnology and Food MicrobiologySend a message
IA Poultry broiler decontamination

Process innovation is being implemented across our supply base for example: At the end of 2015 our major chicken supplier installed a SonoSteam system. This steam/ ultrasound system has been scientifically proven to significantly reduce Campylobacter levels. This process is applied to 100% of chickens supplied from the site and is having a positive impact on our test results

Initiatives like the FSA target are spreading to other governmental agencies, like SCoPAFF and EFSA, where a process hygiene criterion is now underway in EU.

The purpose is to lay down a process hygiene criterion for Campylobacter in broiler carcases … The majority of Member States welcomed the document.

We, at SonoSteam, are ready to help both slaughter houses, retailers, and consumers by implementing our technology, thus creating a safer food production and consumption.

SonoSteam is an innovative technology that is proving highly successful at tackling the pressing problem of Campylobacter in fresh poultry.

SonoSteam nozzle gold