• Journal Article

Food safety practices of poultry slaughter plants: Findings from a national survey

Citation

Cates, S., Viator, C., Karns, S., & Muth, M. (2007). Food safety practices of poultry slaughter plants: Findings from a national survey. Food Protection Trends, 27(12), 957-966.

Abstract

Practices and technologies implemented by poultry slaughter plants for controlling foodborne pathogens and other hazards may help reduce the risk of salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, and other foodborne illnesses. To characterize the use of food safety practices and technologies in the United States’ poultry slaughter industry, we conducted a survey of all poultry slaughter plants (219 completed surveys, 78% response rate). The majority of plants have adopted many of the food safety technologies and practices asked about in the survey. In particular, 86% of plants use some type of carcass decontamination intervention, and 50% use some type of decontamination intervention for processed product. About 80% of plants have their slaughter and processing operations audited for food safety by an independent third party or its customers. Most plants conduct voluntary microbiological testing (85%) and environmental sampling (75%). Nearly all plants provide food safety training for new employees and also provide food safety training on an ongoing basis. In general, large and small plants are more likely than very small plants to use many of the food safety practices and technologies (P < 0.01). The survey findings, along with other data, can be used to characterize poultry slaughter plants’ food safety risk management practices