Food Control ( IF 3.667 ) Pub Date : 2018-06-30 , DOI: 10.1016/j.foodcont.2018.06.034 Shauna C. Henley, Natalie Launchi, Jennifer J. Quinlan
The widespread practice of washing raw poultry has been the target of multiple consumer education campaigns in recent years. In addition to rinsing with plain water, a subset of consumers report using acidic solutions (diluted lemon/lime juice or vinegar) to wash raw poultry. While studies have demonstrated the ineffectiveness of acidic marinades to eliminate pathogens from raw meat, the effect of acidic washes on raw poultry has not previously been examined. The research reported here determined the fate of Salmonella enterica 19214 inoculated onto raw poultry and subsequently exposed to acidic washes. Chicken breasts were inoculated with approximately 5 x 108 CFU of Salmonella enterica 19214 (resistant to tetracycline, streptomycin and chloramphenicol). Inoculated breasts were then washed for 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 2 minutes or 5 minutes in control (tap water) or acidic (10% vinegar or 10% lemon juice) solutions to simulate consumer washing. Following washing, S. enterica 19214 levels were determined both in the wash water and on the chicken using media containing antibiotics. Washing with 10% vinegar (pH 3.1) resulted in the recovery of 7.23 to 7.46 log CFU/ml S. enterica from the chicken and 6.63 to 6.73 log CFU/ml S. enterica from the vinegar wash solution. Washing with 10% lemon juice (pH 2.6) resulted in the recovery of 7.26 to 7.42 log CFU/ml from the chicken and 6.28 to 7.06 log CFU/ml from the lemon juice wash. Results indicate that acidic washes result in live Salmonella both in the wash as well as remaining on the chicken. Washing raw poultry in a diluted lemon juice or vinegar solution is an inefficient method for removing pathogens and results in pathogens both in the wash water and on the chicken, increasing the risk for cross contamination and potential foodborne illness.