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Last update: May 2021

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CHILLING : Influence of slaughter practices, in particular chilling, and pre-slaughter conditions on the persistence of Campylobacter jejuni in French broiler slaughterhouses

Characterize the variability of the slaughter and pre-slaughter conditions of broiler chickens in the regions of Brittany and Pays de la Loire, likely to influence the level of contamination of carcasses in post-chilling

Since 2005, Campylobacter, a commensal pathogenic bacterium of the digestive tract of poultry, remains the main cause of zoonosis reported in the European Union (EU). Different control strategies can be considered at all stages of poultry meat production to reduce the prevalence of Campylobacter. Multiplying control strategies by targeting both farming conditions and slaughter conditions is encouraged by European health safety agencies. The Chilling project will focus on the study of two stages carried out respectively on the farm and at the slaughterhouse, fasting and cooling. Fasting before slaughter, by removing food from chickens, can facilitate emptying of the digestive tract and thus reduce the risk of contamination during the evisceration stage. The duration of this fast, which is necessarily less than twelve hours, depends on numerous intermediate stages such as the transport time and the waiting time for the batches at the slaughterhouse. The first objective of the Chilling project will be to quantitatively assess this duration in the Pays de la Loire region, based on data collected in the field. This precise quantification will make it possible to determine the variability factors of this duration and to identify possible levers allowing a more optimal adjustment. The second part of the project, on the slaughterhouse part, will consist first of all in evaluating whether, in the diversity of slaughtering practices for broiler chickens in Brittany and Pays de la Loire, and in particular relating to the chilling stage, certain practices have an effect on the persistence (stress resistance and antibiotic resistance) of C. jejuni. Modeling of the thermodynamic characteristics of chilling will then be combined with predictive microbiology models of Campylobacter inactivation in order to identify control levers to be implemented in slaughterhouses to reduce the risk associated with Campylobacter.

Coordination: SECALIM

Partners: Anses Ploufragan, GEPEA Oniris