Details for the Sampling of Young Chicken and Turkey Carcasses to Meet the New FSIS Standards

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The information contained in these instructions is based on the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Notice number 31-11 which may be consulted for further information.

General Sampling Procedures For Young Chickens (Salmonella and Campylobacter)

  1. Sample each production shift as identified on the Compliance Verification System (CVS) plant profile on a random basis so that the full sampling set includes representative samples from both shifts. Shift sampling proportions may vary and there is no requirement that exactly half of the samples must be taken from each production shift.
  2. The supplies for this new sampling procedure are different from those described in the previous procedure for collecting the sample for Salmonella testing. The following is a list of the supplies for each young chicken sampling event:
    • Shipping container:
    • 1-15" x 20" (33 X 44 cm), large sterile plastic bag
    • 1- pair of sterile gloves
    • 1- 400 mL bottle of Buffered Peptone Water (BPW)
    • 1-120 mL sterile specimen jar with lid
    • 1- litre resealable ziplock-type bag (secondary container)
    • 1-Absorbent pad
    • Gel coolant packs

    Ensuring that the BPW is prechilled is critical to this verification sampling procedure. Only use prechilled BPW.

  3. Personnel collecting the samples are to change disposable gloves whenever necessary, to prevent cross-contamination of bird samples and are to avoid contamination of carcasses and rinse supplies.
  4. At the post-chill sampling location, establishment personnel are to determine a random time at which the carcasses will reach the end of the drip line, or the last readily accessible point prior to cut-up, (or the equivalent point in air-chill systems). Staff are to randomly select a poultry carcass from the post-chill area (after all interventions have taken place) and to allow drip time to prevent dilution of the sample.

Specific Procedures For Collecting Young Chicken Rinsate

A. Personnel are to take all necessary precautions not to contaminate any of the sampling supplies and are to discontinue the sampling procedure if a contamination event occurs that would compromise the integrity of the submitted sample.

B. Review and follow the instructions for aseptic sampling techniques, putting on the gloves, and sample collection for placing the chicken carcass in the large sterile plastic sample bag, adding prechilled BPW, and thoroughly rinsing the bird.

C. The person conducting the test must remove the chicken aseptically from the sample bag before collecting the 100 mL rinsate.

To do this:

  1. Carefully open the bag containing the bird;
  2. Work the plastic bag down around the carcass so that you can firmly grip one leg, without touching the inside of the plastic bag;
  3. While holding the bag with the one hand, carefully remove the bird from the bag with the other hand; and
  4. Place the bird back on the conveyor or table.

D. Collect the 100 mL rinsate sample from the sample bag immediately by:

  1. Removing the lid from the empty 120 mL sterile specimen jar container;
  2. Being careful not to contaminate the inside of the specimen jar or the lid, and by not allowing the bag to contact the interior surfaces of the jar;
  3. Using the "V" formed by the bag at the lower corner as a pouring spout, carefully pour the rinsate into the open jar;
  4. Collecting as much of the BPW rinsate as possible, but at least 100 mL;
  5. Placing the cap back on the jar and checking to be sure that the lid is securely in place;
  6. Placing the collected and labelled sample container in a ziplock-type bag; and
  7. Holding the sample under refrigeration and control until shipment to the laboratory.

General Sampling Procedures For Turkeys (Salmonella And Campylobacter)

  1. Sample each production shift as identified on the CVS plant profile on a random basis so that the full sampling set includes representative samples from both shifts. Shift sampling proportions may vary and there is no requirement that exactly half of the samples must be taken from each production shift.
  2. There will be two carcass swabs per post-chill sample with 10 mL of BPW diluent used to moisten the sponge for the Salmonella sample and 25-mL of BPW diluent used to moisten the sponge for the Campylobacter sample. IPP are to collect one turkey carcass for sampling. The first sponge is to be used to swab the left side of the carcass for Salmonella, while the second sponge is to be used to swab the right side of the carcass for Campylobacter.
  3. The following is a list of the supplies for each young turkey sampling event
    • Shipping container
    • 3- pairs of sterile gloves
    • 1- 10 mL tube of BPW marked "S" (Salmonella)
    • 1- 25 mL tube of BPW marked "C" (Campylobacter)
    • 2- sterile specimen sponges (swabs) in marked Whirl-Pak® bags; one swab labelled "C", one swab labelled "S"
    • 2- sterile templates 5" x 10" in bag
    • 2- 1 litre resealable ziplock-type bags (secondary container)
    • 1-Absorbent pad
    • Gel coolant packs

    Ensuring that the BPW is prechilled is critical to this verification sampling procedure. Only use prechilled BPW.

  4. Personnel are to change disposable gloves whenever necessary, to prevent cross-contamination of birds and samples and are to avoid contamination of carcasses and sponge sampling supplies.
  5. At the post-chill sampling location, personnel are to determine a random time at which the carcass will reach the end of the drip line or the equivalent point in air-chill systems. Personnel are to randomly select a poultry carcass from the post-chill area (after all interventions have taken place) and to allow drip time to prevent dilution of the sample.

Specific Procedures For Collecting Turkey Swabs

Personnel are to take all necessary precautions not to contaminate any of the sampling supplies and are to discontinue the sampling procedure if a contamination event occurs which would compromise the integrity of the submitted samples.

Staff are to review and follow the instructions for Sample Collection, Turkey, for general turkey sponging technique, but with the following additional instructions:

  1. While wearing the first pair of sterile gloves, remove the turkey in a safe manner. Holding the turkey by the legs and avoiding contact with the back or thigh areas, place the turkey breast down on a sanitized work surface covered with clean paper towels or absorbent pads to prevent the carcass from slipping during sponge sampling. Remove and discard the gloves. If heavy birds require assistance for lifting, have helpers wear sterile gloves and ensure that they do not touch the sampling areas.
  2. Open the sponge bag by tearing off the top perforated strip. Do not remove the wire closures from the bag. Pull apart the two small white tabs on either side to open the mouth of the bag.
  3. Remove the cap from the smaller, 10-mL pre-chilled sterile BPW container marked "S", designated for Salmonella sampling, being careful not to touch the container opening. Carefully pour the entire contents of the BPW container into the sponge bag marked "S". Do not contaminate the top inside of the Whirl-Pak® bag. Set the empty BPW container aside.
  4. Press the wire closures back together to close the top of the sponge bag. Use hand pressure on the outside of the bag to carefully massage the sponge until it is fully moistened. With the bag still closed, squeeze any excess diluent out of the sponge while carefully pushing the moistened sponge to the uppermost portion of the bag.
  5. Open the sponge sample bag, being careful not to touch its inner surface. The wire closure should keep the bag open. Set the bag aside, being careful not to contaminate the sponge and careful not to spill the remaining BPW fluid.
  6. Open the sterile template bag by tearing off the top perforated strip. Set the template bag aside, being careful not to contaminate the template.
  7. Put on the second pair of sterile gloves. Carefully remove the moistened sponge from the bag by grasping the end of the sampling sponge with your gloved sampling hand. Do not touch the outside of the Whirl-Pak® bag.
  8. With your other gloved hand, retrieve the template by its outer edge, taking care not to contaminate the inner edges that define the template's sampling area.
  9. Place the template over the back sampling area and hold it in place to the left of the vertebral column. Using your sampling hand, wipe the sponge over the entire enclosed area approximately 10 times vertically and 10 times horizontally. Use only one side of the sponge. You may need to roll the template from side to side as you sponge since the carcass surface is not flat.
  10. Repeat the sponging procedure using the same sponge but with the template placed over the left thigh sampling area. Turn the sponge over so that the unused side of the sponge contacts the thigh surface, wiping the entire area enclosed by the template with approximately 10 vertical and 10 horizontal passes of the sponge. Discard the template.
  11. Carefully replace the sponge into the Whirl-Pak® sample bag with any remaining portion of BPW without touching the outside of the bag with the sponge. Expel any excess air from the sample bag and fold over the top edge of the bag 3 or 4 times to close the top. Secure the top by folding the wire attachments back against the bag.
  12. Repeat steps 4 – 11 using the other, larger, 25-mL pre-chilled sterile BPW container marked "C" designated for Campylobacter sampling and the Whirl-Pak® sponge bag marked "C". Swab the right side of the same turkey carcass using a new pair of gloves and a new template. Upon completion of the second swabbing, and securing the swab in its marked sample bag, return the turkey carcass to the point where you collected the bird.
  13. Each sponge should be carefully secured in its own separate Whirl-Pak® sample bag (previously marked appropriately with either a "S" or a "C").
  14. Place bagged carcass sponges under refrigeration within five (5) minutes of collection. Place the collected and labelled sample bags in their own separate zip-lock type bag, which is provided, and hold under refrigeration and FSIS control until shipped.

Sample Storage Prior To Shipment

All samples are to be refrigerated after sampling and maintained under refrigeration at 4.0°C, or lower, until shipped. Do not freeze samples. Keep all samples secure.

Staff are never to store sample boxes near heaters or areas exposed to excessive heat. The laboratory will discard samples that arrive above 10°C or below 0°C. It is critical that the sample temperature is maintained during collection and shipment.

Shipping Of Samples

A. Samples are to be collected and shipped to the accredited laboratory the same day when possible. For more information see section U.2.2.1 of Annex U.

Samples must be submitted to an accredited laboratory. Tests performed for Salmonella and Campylobacter must be either the same as the FSIS method or be deemed equivalent to the FSIS method test.

Appropirate Methods Of Analysis

MLG 4.05 - Isolation and Identification of Salmonella from Meat, Poultry, Pasteurized Egg and Catfish Products

MLG 4C.03 - FSIS Procedure for the Use of a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Assay for Screening Salmonella in Raw Meat Products, Raw Catfish Products, Carcass Sponge Samples, Whole Bird Rinses, Ready-to-Eat Meat, Poultry Products, and Pasteurized Egg Products

MFLP-29 - The Qualicon Bax® System Method for the Detection of Salmonella in a Variety of Food and Environmental Samples

MFHPB-20 - Isolation and Identification of Salmonella from Foods

MLG 41.01 - Isolation, Identification and Enumeration of Campylobacter jejuni/coli/lari from Poultry Rinse and Sponge Samples.

Obtaining Results

The CFIA VIC must receive a copy of the lab results at the same time as the operator of the establishment.

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