A baseline survey of the microbiological quality of chicken portions and carcasses at retail in two Australian states (2005 to 2006)

A. Pointon, M. Sexton, P. Dowsett, T. Saputra, A. Kiermeier, M. Lorimer, G. Holds, G. Arnold, D. Davos, B. Combs, S. Fabiansson, G. Raven, H. McKenzie, A. Chapman, J. Sumner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Raw poultry products were purchased from the retail market place in two Australian states, New South Wales (n = 549) and South Australia (n = 310). The products sampled on a proportional volume basis were chicken portions with the skin off or skin on, in bulk or tray packs, and whole carcasses. They were collected from butcher shops, supermarkets, and specialty stores from urban areas during the winter (2005) and summer (2006) months. The samples were analyzed to determine the prevalence and concentration of Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Campylobacter spp. in addition to total viable counts. Salmonella was found in 47.7 and 35.5% of retail chicken samples (35.3 and 21.9% were the less virulent Salmonella Sofia), at mean counts of -1.42 and -1.6 log MPN/cm2 in New South Wales and South Australia, respectively. Campylobacter was found in 87.8 and 93.2% of samples at mean counts of 0.87 and 0.78 log CFU/cm2, respectively. In both states in both seasons, the mean total viable count was 5 log CFU/cm2. On whole birds, E. coli was detected in all winter samples and on 92.9 and 85.7% of summer samples in New South Wales and South Australia, respectively; the log of the geometric mean per square centimeter was 0.5 in winter and slightly lower in summer. On chicken portions, E. coli was detected in around 90% of winter samples in both states, and in summer on 75.1 and 59.6% of samples in New South Wales and South Australia, respectively. The log of the geometric mean CFU per square centimeter for E. coli was 0.75 and 0.91 in winter, and 0.66 and 0.5 in summer in New South Wales and South Australia, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1134
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Food Protection
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jun 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology

Cite this