An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Food Safety Assistance for Small Meat and Poultry Processors Through Development and Implementation of Industry Best Practices: An Integrated Approach

Investigators
Thippareddi, Harshavardhan; Burson, Dennis; Ellis, Jason D; Sofos, John; Belk, Keith E; Hardin, Margaret D; Griffin, Davey; Singh, Manpreet; Bilgili, Sarge
Institutions
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Start date
2009
End date
2014
Objective

The goals and objectives of the proposal are:

1. Develop "Industry Best Practices" for the slaughter, fabrication and processing (ready-to-eat meat and poultry) segments of the meat and poultry processing industry (beef, pork and poultry) for reducing the prevalence of foodborne pathogens during processing

2. Validate the efficacy of the "Industry Best Practices" and their effect on reducing and/or eliminating the prevalence of foodborne pathogen of significance (E. coli O157:H7 in beef, Salmonella in beef, pork, and poultry) and general microbial populations

3. Develop traditional and non-traditional programs for the academia and the industry, respectively for incorporation into academic programs (food science and meat science curricula) and HACCP Alliance accredited workshops for the meat and poultry industry

More information

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY:
The microbiological safety of the meat supply has been questioned with an increase in the number of meat product recalls and outbreaks due to foodborne pathogens, including E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp. DT104 and Listeria monocytogenes. Further, the increase in the number of E. coli O157:H7 positives in FSIS ground beef testing and several recalls have raised questions regarding the adequacy of interventions applied in beef slaughter and ground beef operations. FSIS testing in pork and poultry has also shown increases in Salmonella positives. While large processors rely on multiple antimicrobial interventions to reduce or eliminate these pathogens, small and very small processors rely on sanitary carcass dressing practices as the sole means for reducing the prevalence of foodborne pathogens. Large producers have developed and implemented "Industry Best Practices." However, these practices are not applicable to small processors. Thus, there is a significant need to develop "Industry Best Practices" applicable to small processors and to provide training and outreach programs to educate them in these best practices. The overall goal of this project is to develop "Industry Best Practices" to improve operations in small and very small meat and poultry processing operations to enhance meat and poultry product safety. Further, the research and extension team will develop and deliver easy to understand extension tools and conduct hands-on workshops for small processors to improve their sanitary production practices and reduce the prevalence of foodborne pathogens in the meat and poultry supply.

APPROACH:
Goal 1: We will survey at least twenty small and very small processing operations on current sanitary processing practices for each of the segments of the industry (slaughter, fabrication and RTE meat and poultry processing) and for each species (beef, pork and poultry to determine the current practices We will develop "Industry Best Practices" for each of the processing segments of the industry and evaluate the processing unit operations within each processing category by convening advisory panels (from academia, industry and regulatory agencies Goal 2: We will evaluate microbiological status of at least ten small and very small processing operations for each of the segments of the industry (slaughter, fabrication and RTE meat and poultry processing) and for each species (beef, pork and poultry) for the foodborne pathogen of significance and general microbial populations We will work with the participating processing operations and implement the developed "Industry Best Practices" and evaluate microbiological status of the same small and very small processing operations Goal 3: We will assess the need for these programs and the educational background of the processors to use these programs; develop fact sheets and on-line sessions (Breeze) for each of the unit operations within the industry segment (slaughter, fabrication and RTE meat and poultry processing) and the species (beef, pork and poultry) for use by the small and very small meat processors and for incorporation into International HACCP Alliance Accredited programs and other outreach programs at land grant Universities (non-traditional setting) and for incorporation into the academic programs (traditional setting) We will develop and conduct three workshops for each species (will incrporate slaughter, fabrication and processing as small and very small processors traditionally have all three categories within their operations) in different locations of the U.S. in collaboration with the industry associations We will incorporate the extension tools (fact sheets and on-line sessions) into the UNL food safety website and maintain the website with continuous evaluation of the traffic and utility of the tools. The extension tools will also be cross linked to other websites such as the NCBA, NPB, AMI, NAMP, NMA, SWMA and other poultry industry associations. We will evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the extension tools (fact sheets and on-line Breeze sessions) on small and very small meat processors and refine the tools (fact sheets and on-line sessions)

PROGRESS: 2011/09 TO 2012/08
OUTPUTS: Food safety management practices being followed during primary processing of poultry meat were conducted for processing plants in the southeastern states of Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, and North Carolina. Of these plants surveyed, six plants were chosen for further investigation of unit operations and their impact on reducing and/ or inhibiting poultry borne pathogens, specifically, Salmonella and Campylobacter. The six plants that were sampled for prevalence of pathogens were picked after the results from the surveys were tabulated. The basis for picking these six plants were, number of birds processed in a week, similarities in unit operations being used for processing broilers, and vicinity to Auburn University for the sake of sample handling and testing. In addition to these factors, the type of antimicrobials being used in the processing plants was also taken into account to cover an array of widely used chemicals in order to demonstrate efficacy of various antimicrobials. We have completed the first round of testing in six processing plants and results for prevalence of Salmonella, Campylobacter, and general aerobic bacteria, total coliforms have been analyzed, Currently, we are in the phase of using the results obtained from the testing to share with processors and suggest changes in current practices that are being followed to reduce prevalence of these poultry borne pathogens. Initial findings suggest that processors have been able to control Salmonella fairly successfully, however the challenges still lie with control of Campylobacter, aerobic bacteria and coliforms. PARTICIPANTS: Dr. Manpreet Singh and Sarge Bilgili - Auburn University; Dr. Matthew Taylor and Davey Griffin at Texas A&M University; Dr. Harshavardhan Thippareddi and Dennis Burson at University of Nebraska; Dr. John Sofos at Colorado state University. TARGET AUDIENCES: Not relevant to this project. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

PROGRESS: 2011/09/01 TO 2012/08/31
OUTPUTS: Food safety management practices being followed during primary processing of poultry meat were conducted for processing plants in the southeastern states of Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, and North Carolina. Of these plants surveyed, six plants were chosen for further investigation of unit operations and their impact on reducing and/ or inhibiting poultry borne pathogens, specifically, Salmonella and Campylobacter. The six plants that were sampled for prevalence of pathogens were picked after the results from the surveys were tabulated. The basis for picking these six plants were, number of birds processed in a week, similarities in unit operations being used for processing broilers, and vicinity to Auburn University for the sake of sample handling and testing. In addition to these factors, the type of antimicrobials being used in the processing plants was also taken into account to cover an array of widely used chemicals in order to demonstrate efficacy of various antimicrobials. We have completed the first round of testing in six processing plants and results for prevalence of Salmonella, Campylobacter, and general aerobic bacteria, total coliforms have been analyzed, Currently, we are in the phase of using the results obtained from the testing to share with processors and suggest changes in current practices that are being followed to reduce prevalence of these poultry borne pathogens. Initial findings suggest that processors have been able to control Salmonella fairly successfully, however the challenges still lie with control of Campylobacter, aerobic bacteria and coliforms. PARTICIPANTS: Dr. Manpreet Singh and Sarge Bilgili - Auburn University; Dr. Matthew Taylor and Davey Griffin at Texas A&M University; Dr. Harshavardhan Thippareddi and Dennis Burson at University of Nebraska; Dr. John Sofos at Colorado state University. TARGET AUDIENCES: Not relevant to this project. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

PROGRESS: 2010/09/01 TO 2011/08/31
OUTPUTS: The U.S. meat and poultry industry has adopted the HACCP system and implemented HACCP programs to reduce and/or eliminate food safety hazards, as required by regulation (FSIS, 1996). Subsequent to the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in 1992-1993 in the Pacific Northwest, several large meat and poultry processors incorporated antimicrobial intervention strategies to reduce and/or eliminate E. coli O157:H7 from beef and beef products. However, most small and very small processors still have not incorporated these food safety interventions due to the need for large capital investment and lack of knowledge and resources. A survey tool for evaluating the current practices in the meat and poultry slaughter and processing industry has been developed and being administered. The results of the survey will guide the necessary assessments and needs of the meat and poultry industry for the development of sanitary best practices to minimize the risk of foodborne pathogens. PARTICIPANTS: Harshavardhan Thippareddi, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE Dennis E. Burson, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE John Sofos, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO Keith Belk, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO Matthew Taylor, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX Davey Griffin, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX Manpreet Singh, Auburn University, Auburn, AL Sarge Bilgili, Auburn University, Auburn, AL TARGET AUDIENCES: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

PROGRESS: 2009/09/01 TO 2010/08/31
OUTPUTS: Increase in the number of E. coli O157:H7 positives in FSIS ground beef testing and several recalls in 2007 have raised questions on the adequacy of the interventions applied in the beef slaughter and ground beef operations. Large processors have relied on multiple antimicrobial interventions to reduce or eliminate these pathogens. However, the small and very small processors rely on sanitary carcass dressing practices as the sole means for reducing the prevalence of foodborne pathogens. The large processors recognized the need to work together to assure safety of their products, developed and implemented "Industry Best Practices". These practices are not applicable to the small processors and there is a significant need to develop the "Industry Best Practices" applicable to small processors and provide training and outreach programs to educate them. The project team has developed questionnaire to evaluate the current practices for each of the beef, pork and poultry processing operations, along with ready to eat (RTE) meat and poultry processing operations. The questionnaire (survey) will indicate the current practices being followed by the processors and will assist in selection of the processing operations that require greater assistance in development and implementation of the Industry Best Practices. PARTICIPANTS: Thippareddi (UNL), Burson (UNL), Sofos (CSU), Belk (CSU), Taylor (TAMU), Griffin (TAMU), Singh (Auurn) and Bilgili (Auburn). TARGET AUDIENCES: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
NEB-31-126
Accession number
219734
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Natural Toxins
Commodities
Eggs
Meat, Poultry, Game