Validation of Thermal Lethality against Salmonella enterica in Poultry Offal during Rendering
Recent outbreaks of human disease following contact with companion animal foods cross-contaminated with enteric pathogens, such as Salmonella enterica, have resulted in increased concern regarding the microbiological safety of animal foods. Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act and its implementing rules have stipulated the implementation of current good manufacturing practices and food safety preventive controls for livestock and companion animal foods. Animal foods and feeds are sometimes formulated to include thermally rendered animal by-product meals. The objective of this research was to determine the thermal inactivation of S. enterica in poultry offal during rendering at differing temperatures. Raw poultry offal was obtained from a commercial renderer and inoculated with a mixture of Salmonella serovars Senftenberg, Enteritidis, and Gallinarum (an avian pathogen) prior to being subjected to heating at 150, 155, or 160°F (65.5, 68.3, or 71.1°C) for up to 15 min. Following heat application, surviving Salmonella bacteria were enumerated. Mean D-values for the Salmonella cocktail at 150, 155, and 160°F were 0.254 ± 0.045, 0.172 ± 0.012, and 0.086 ± 0.004 min, respectively, indicative of increasing susceptibility to increased application of heat during processing. The mean thermal process constant (z-value) was 21.948 ± 3.87°F. Results indicate that a 7.0-log-cycle inactivation of Salmonella may be obtained from the cumulative lethality encountered during the heating come-up period and subsequent rendering of raw poultry offal at temperatures not less than 150°F. Current poultry rendering procedures are anticipated to be effective for achieving necessary pathogen control when completed under sanitary conditions.