Assessment of Campylobacter jejuni Loads in Feedlot Cattle and Poultry Environments and Post-Harvest
AuthorMild, Rita Michelle
AdvisorJoens, Lynn A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 23-Jul-2014
AbstractCampylobacter jejuni is one of the most common causes of foodborne diarrheal illness in the U.S. and worldwide. (1-2). C. jejuni infection in humans is most often attributed to undercooked poultry (3-6). However, since 2001, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed 9 outbreaks of campylobacteriosis linked to consumption of beef and beef products, resulting in 297 illnesses and 10 hospitalizations, and cattle isolates have been linked to other human infections (7-10). Because Campylobacter infection is generally sporadic, and not all cases are linked to poultry, other animal reservoirs such as beef likely exist. Because beef is not commonly considered a significant source of Campylobacter, interventions regarding beef cattle are generally geared toward other pathogens, such as E. coli O157:H7. Interventions to prevent Campylobacter spread in poultry houses include reducing flock colonization and bacterial loads, (11), as well as interventions directly targeting consumer behavior. Despite these efforts, many countries have not been able to reduce the prevalence of Campylobacter in poultry. The goals of this research were to 1) determine Campylobacter loads in broilers at poultry farms and processing houses through the 3-tube MPN method, and determine baseline data for poultry production systems, 2) describe temporal relationships and prevalence of Campylobacter strains in a potentially underrepresented host/environment (cattle feedlot environment), and 3) test the efficacy of natural, plant derived compounds against C. jejuni on meat. Our results show that there is a significant positive association between pre-harvest and post-harvest Campylobacter loads in poultry, with Campylobacter levels during the final step of processing remaining at infectious levels. Beef cattle represent another potential and not well-described source of campylobacteriosis, as beef cattle and their environment become rapidly contaminated with Campylobacter from weaning through processing, and cross-contamination of carcasses is possible. This research also determined that natural plant extracts of cinnamon and oregano essential oils, when added to edible films, reduced surface contamination of retail poultry meat with C. jejuni, and thus may be a useful post-harvest intervention for future use in packaging of retail meat with a high risk of Campylobacter contamination.
Degree ProgramGraduate College