Presence and Contamination Level of Clostridium perfringens in Raw Frozen Ground Poultry and Poultry Burgers


Abstract: The objective of this study was to determine the occurrence and the enumeration of Clostridium perfringens in ground poultry and burgers using the MPN technique and selected biochemical tests, including acid phosphatase and reverse-CAMP tests. Forty raw frozen ground poultry and 40 frozen poultry burger samples were purchased from different poultry processing plants in Turkey, between June and December 2000. The samples were taken aseptically and transported to the laboratory in refrigerated containers and tested the same day. C. perfringens was isolated from 28 (70.0%) of the 40 ground poultry samples at the mean number of 2.6 MPN/g. The minimal and maximal numbers of ground poultry samples positive for C. perfringens varied from 0.30 to 9.3 MPN/g. Only 1 (2.5%) of the 40 poultry burger samples was positive for C. perfringes at the mean number of 0.36 MPN/g. C. perfringens was found higher in the warm months of July to early September (67.9%) than in October to late December (32.1%) in 28 positive poultry ground samples. Only one poultry burger sample positive for C. perfringens was taken in July. In conclusion, ground poultry may be considered a significant source of C. perfringens mainly in warm months. The high incidence of this bacterium in ground poultry may indicate insanitary conditions and improper handling at processing plants.

Keywords: Ground poultry, poultry burger, Clostridium perfringens, MPN

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