Treatment of Raw Poultry with Nonthermal Dielectric Barrier Discharge Plasma To Reduce
Campylobacter jejuni and Salmonella enterica
by B P Dirks, D Dobrynin, G Fridman, Y Mukhin, A Fridman, J J Quinlan
Nonthermal plasma has been shown to be effective in reducing pathogens on the surface of a range of fresh produce products. The research presented here investigated the effectiveness of nonthermal dielectric barrier discharge plasma on Salmonella enterica and Campylobacter jejuni inoculated onto the surface of boneless skinless chicken breast and chicken thigh with skin. Chicken samples were inoculated with antibiotic-resistant strains of S. enterica and C. jejuni at levels of 101 to 104 CFU and exposed to plasma for a range of time points (0 to 180 s in 15-s intervals). Surviving antibiotic-resistant pathogens were recovered and counted on appropriate agar. In order to determine the effect of plasma on background microflora, noninoculated skinless chicken breast and thighs with skin were exposed to air plasma at ambient pressure. Treatment with plasma resulted in elimination of low levels (101 CFU) of both S. enterica and C. jejuni on chicken breasts and C. jejuni from chicken skin, but viable S. enterica cells remained on chicken skin even after 20 s of exposure to plasma. Inoculum levels of 102, 103, and 104CFU of S. enterica on chicken breast and chicken skin resulted in maximum reduction levels of 1.85, 2.61, and 2.54 log, respectively, on chicken breast and 1.25, 1.08, and 1.31 log, respectively, on chicken skin following 3 min of plasma exposure. Inoculum levels of 102, 103, and 104 CFU of C. jejuni on chicken breast and chicken skin resulted in maximum reduction levels of 1.65, 2.45, and 2.45 log, respectively, on chicken breast and 1.42, 1.87, and 3.11 log, respectively, on chicken skin following 3 min of plasma exposure. Plasma exposure for 30 s reduced background microflora on breast and skin by an average of 0.85 and 0.21 log, respectively. This research demonstrates the feasibility of nonthermal dielectric barrier discharge plasma as an intervention to help reduce foodborne pathogens on the surface of raw poultry.